Research shows that 70 per cent of mental health problems begin in childhood and adolescence, affecting one in two Canadians by age 40. And half of those who develop chronic mental health disorders show symptoms by age 14.
Our goal is to help change how mental health care for children and youth is thought about, talked about and delivered in our province so that kids from backyards across Alberta get the best chance to live a long and healthy life.
Caring for the mental health of kids in crisis
When families are in crisis, the emergency department at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton is often the first place they go. Whether it’s a physical or mental health crisis, the need and urgency are the same.
The reality is that navigating this complex health system can be a challenge for parents and families. The stress and worry that comes from seeing a child in pain from extreme psychological distress—ranging from depression, extreme anxiety and trauma, to extreme aggression, self-harm and thoughts of suicide—can be frightening and overwhelming.
To help close some of the gaps that exist when it comes to accessing vital child and adolescent mental health care, we have launched a five year, $6.5 million fundraising campaign to bring integrated, clinical mental health services to the Stollery Emergency department. This expanded care model will eventually deliver round-the-clock, expert pediatric mental health services in the moment of crisis, and will include:
- 24/7 access to clinical emergency mental health services at the Stollery Emergency and through a crisis phone line service
- On-site walk-in clinic at the Walter C. Mackenzie Stollery site for kids and youth who present as low risk as an alternative to waiting for an emergency department assessment
- Specialized bedside support for kids and adolescents who present with mental health concerns
- Highly-trained child psychiatrists, therapists, nurses and social workers working alongside emergency physicians and clinical support staff to provide mental health examinations and risk assessments
- A specialized team who works with patients and families after a suicide attempt to make sure children and youth have access to available community supports before being discharged
Learn more about this transformative project.
Our $5M gift for youth mental health hubs across Alberta
With the support of generous donors like you, we’ve committed $5 million over five years to the Mental Health Foundation – the largest gift in its history – to help fund integrated youth services that will improve outcomes for youth living with mental health issues in our province.
We’re proud to work with our partners at the Mental Health Foundation to support expanding youth hubs into 12 communities across Alberta. These investments will improve timely access to mental health, addiction and social services to help youth aged 11-24 get the care they need, when they need it – right in their own backyard.
Learn more about our partnership and historic gift.
Our ongoing, long-term commitment to child and youth mental health
Thanks to donors like you, we have an ongoing and long-term commitment to child and youth mental health in Alberta that continues to make a life-changing difference for families, whether in Edmonton or in remote backyards across the province.
- In November 2018, we launched a two-year, $1.5 million fundraising campaign in partnership with the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation to advance care for families at the QEII Hospital, with funds supporting a youth mental health unit, family-centred care programs and pediatric equipment.
- From counselling services and bereavement programs for families coping with the loss of a child, to pet therapy and music therapy programs that help kids cope on a daily basis, we have invested millions in pediatric mental health services to help families at the Stollery Children’s Hospital since 2014.
- Since 2007, we have invested more than $6 million through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute to fund 99 pediatric mental health research projects at the University of Alberta.
Read our HEROES stories to learn about the positive impact your donations make.