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Caring for mental health

We aim to make mental health care for children and youth more accessible so that every child can get the care they need, when they need it.


You can help make sure kids and youth have increased access to mental health care at the Stollery Children’s Hospital:

  • 24/7 access to clinical emergency mental health services at the Stollery Emergency and through a crisis phone line service
  • On-site services 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

By the numbers...


of Canadians are personally affected by mental health by age 40


of mental health problems begin in childhood and adolescence


of those who develop chronic mental health disorders show symptoms by age 14

We need your help to provide mental health patients and families access to care from specialized mental health teams:

  • 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

But we still have a long way to go, as the demand and complexity of mental health cases are rising:

  • In 2020-21, more than 2,552 visits to the Stollery Emergency were mental health cases, which is 907 more visits than the previous year
  • Each day, the Stollery Emergency sees seven children in mental health crisis
  • The complexity of mental health cases is increasing

Support child and youth mental health care at the Stollery:

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Campaign update (August 2023)

Thanks to our donors, the Stollery Emergency:

  • Responded to 2,600 adolescent mental health concerns in 2022 (up drastically from 1,700 in 2020).
  • Provides 24-hour nursing support to kids and teens who present with mental health concerns (up from the previous 16 hours/day) and reduces their time in emergency.
  • Employs a team of registered psychiatric nurses in emergency, for the first time, helping to reduce wait times for a psychiatric consultation from 3-4 weeks down to 10-28 days.
  • Has an integrated emergency care team that includes psychologists, therapists and social workers, and a clinical nurse educator has helped 525 existing and new emergency staff build their knowledge and skills in caring for kids and teens with mental health concerns.
  • Provides therapeutic support to kids and youth admitted to the Hospital along with education and support for their family on such topics as anxiety, emotional regulation, self-injury and coping skills for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

In addition, the Stollery emergency care team provides 24/7 coverage of the children’s mental health crisis line which responded to 3,900 calls in 2023 and supports the walk-in clinic at the Stollery that allows kids/teens who are not high risk or in need of urgent medical attention to avoid waiting in emergency.

Year of campaign: three of five years
Funds raised to date: $3 million

Our commitment to mental health care extends beyond the Stollery's four walls

  • We’ve supported Kickstand, connecting young Albertans with virtual mental health experts
  • We’ve partnered with the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation to advance care for families at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, with funds supporting a youth mental health unit
  • Since 2007, we’ve helped fund 155 pediatric mental health research projects at the University of Alberta through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute

Contact us for more information about our mental health campaign

Jennifer Hutchinson
Senior development officer, major gifts 587.416.4171