The Alberta government has committed over $17 million to replace the 60-year old CASA Centre building in Edmonton. The new government-owned facility will provide an additional 10,000 square feet, expanding services for children, adolescents and their families.
“Our goal is to ensure all of Alberta’s children and families have the tools and guidance they need by providing the best care possible to people who are facing mental health challenges. Through our programs and with the help of our community partners who have hard-won knowledge and expertise in this area, we are achieving our goal.”
This project builds on the province’s commitment earlier this year to increase mental health services to children and youth.
Government committed $5 million for new youth residential treatment spaces in Alberta, and $23 million to provide long-term funding for mental health programs and services, including school-based programs that reach more than 315,000 students and families each year.
“Our government, in partnership with organizations like CASA, is committed to supporting the mental health and wellness of children and youth, and to providing treatment for those who need it. This new facility will expand supports for children and families in central and northern Alberta, and it will support CASA in meeting the mental health needs of Alberta’s growing population.”
CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Services is a community provider of mental health services. Each year, CASA serves more than 3,600 infants, children, adolescents and families from central and northern Alberta. The organization has four locations in the Edmonton area.
Services that CASA provides include:
- infant and preschool services for children who show signs of developmental delay;
- services for school-age children, adolescents and their families, including treatment, psychiatry and parent education and supports;
- day programs for children and adolescents with psychiatric or behavioural problems who are not able to thrive in a conventional school environment; and
- telehealth services to support children and adolescents in central and northern Alberta.
“CASA continues to work with the community to raise funds, but this new facility would not be possible without support from the Alberta government. When the doors open, this new building will allow us to enrich our services, so we can continue to meet the mental health and addiction needs of families and children in a more welcoming environment that is specifically designed for this purpose.”
About one in five Albertans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and about half of all mental illnesses start by age 14.
In 2013, Alberta children and youth encounters with the health system for mental health concerns included more than 74,000 visits to family doctors, more than 28,000 visits to emergency rooms, and more than 2,800 inpatient hospital stays.
Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.