Status: Bill 30 received Royal Assent Dec. 11, 2018
Ministry responsible: Health

Overview

One in 5 people will access addiction or mental health services in their lifetime. Albertans deserve to know the treatment they receive is safe and well regulated.

The Mental Health Services Protection Act will put standards in place to ensure residential treatment facilities are licensed and health service providers are appropriately trained and regulated.

The act will apply to an estimated 60 residential addiction treatment facilities in Alberta.

Changes

The Mental Health Services Protection Act:

  • requires all residential addiction treatment facilities to be licensed as of Nov. 1, 2019
  • requires these facilities to establish consumer protection standards such as having a consent policy and service contract that outlines what services will be provided, the costs and the process for dealing with complaints
  • gives government authority to address complaints and concerns and to amend, suspend or cancel an operating license
  • creates the new College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta under the Health Professions Act to regulate about 5,000 counselling therapists, addiction counsellors and child and youth care counsellors
  • protects the use of these professional titles

Further standards and regulations will be developed over the next 2 years to minimize the operational impacts to service providers and clients.

Creating new regulations and standards for service providers and treatment facilities supports one of the key actions recommended in Valuing Mental Health: Next Steps and was informed by input received during public engagement activities held last summer.

Timeline

The act will be rolled out in several phases.

  1. Upon proclamation – the College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta will be created.
  2. July 1, 2019 – Residential addiction treatment service operators can apply for a licence on or after this date.
  3. Nov. 1, 2019 – Residential addiction treatment services must meet core standards and have a licence to operate.

Government will work with stakeholders to help them prepare for the licensing application process and on the development and implementation of remaining regulations

Government will work on the development of the professional regulation for counselling therapists, addiction counsellors and child and youth care counsellors. The professional regulation will address matters such as education and practice requirements for registration, continuing competence and scope of practice.

Contact

Questions about the licensing of residential addiction treatment services can be directed by email to MHSPA@gov.ab.ca or by phone at 780-427-8740 (or toll free within Alberta, dial 310-0000 followed by the 10-digit number).

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