CMHA responds to the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee. Media Release
For Immediate Release
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Alberta Division – Alberta Mental Health recommendations link grass roots organizations like CMHA with improving Albertan’s mental health.
Edmonton – February 22, 2016: David Grauwiler, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Alberta sees a hopeful future for thousands of Albertans impacted by mental health and addiction. “The government of Alberta is moving from words to action through this review process. They have listened to Albertans and hear the cry for a clearer pathway to help.”
Grauwiler, responding to the release of Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee on Monday, said the focus of the report shows that panel members listened to Albertans about the challenges faced for those trying to access support in a system which has been correctly identified as, “overwhelmed, fragmented, and reacting mostly to those in crisis.”
Mr. Grauwiler commends Premier Notley, Dr. Swann, Ms. Larivee and Tyler White for their leadership and attention to the important issue. “All Albertans need help understanding the issue of mental health. They need to know where to get help and they need to get that help in a timely way. The recommendations that recognize the complexity of the issue and the need to work cross-ministry and cross-sector in Alberta communities are critical to our success.”
Grauwiler noted the report focuses on important aspects which CMHA has identified as critical across the province, such as the need for client-centred care, housing, integrated service delivery, enhanced community-based care, a focus on prevention and promotion, particularly within our education system.
We are pleased to see not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations mentioned in the report. These community based agencies have relevant experience and insight. “Across the province we operate many successful programs and services in collaboration with government and other agencies which play a key role in recovery and support.”
Additionally, the report identifies the need for a dedicated provincial resource to address the 500+ suicides each year in Alberta. CMHA’s Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) was mentioned specifically as a logical provincial partner. Most importantly, Grauwiler said, the recommendations are clear in not only in the implementation plan but also accountability to Albertans through stringent oversight and reporting.
“Albertans are talking about mental health. We are all impacted directly or indirectly when mental illness or addiction touches us, our family or our community. CMHA is prepared to work with the government of Alberta to invest in the best outcomes possible for Albertans. We are optimistic that the government will provide adequate resources to make the change and provide the services Albertans are looking for.”
About the Canadian Mental Health Association in Alberta:
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Alberta is made up of eight regions. Additionally CHMA in Alberta includes the Centre for Suicide Prevention (located in Calgary) and a Divisional (Provincial) office (located in Edmonton). CMHA Regional offices focus on the delivery of mental health recovery services, housing, advocacy and mental health promotion. CMHA’s Divisional office supports and promotes the work of CMHA across the province of Alberta for collective impact. The Division and Regions work cooperatively to advance the greater good of people with mental illness in our society.
- Alberta Mental Health Review:
For more information, contact:
Fund Development and Communications Manager
Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division
Office: (780) 482-2729