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Alberta investing $53-million to mental health supports amid COVID-19

Premiere Jason Kenney provides an update on COVID-19 on March 27 (Screenshot from provincial update March 27)

Premier Jason Kenney announced $53 million is being directed to mental health resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is on top of previous $140 million announced to create publicly funded addiction recovery spaces.

It will go towards more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery support.

Within that, $21.4 million will be used to improve access to phone and online supports with existing helplines, including the Addiction Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone, and the Community and Social Services Helpline (Alberta 211).

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Jason Luan said that the funding will support all age groups.

These resources will help address the needs of children, youth and adults, and we will continue to work with our partners across the mental health and addiction sector to find innovative ways to support Albertans in need, both now and after the pandemic is behind us.”

Within that $53 million, $2.6 million will go to expand individual and group treatment to address family violence, addiction and mental health.

Another $4.2 million will go towards expand the addiction and mental health support available through Primary Care Networks and $25 million will go to to a new community grant program to enhance community mental health and addiction recovery for the public, including Indigenous communities, seniors, families and people experiencing social barriers, who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.