Budget 2020 continues support for recovery-oriented care

Associate Minister Luan met with mental health and addiction stakeholders to discuss the government’s priorities in Budget 2020.

Budget 2020 includes $121 million in total mental health and addiction funding. This is an increase of almost $37 million from 2019-20. We are furthering our commitment to fund an additional $100 million for the province’s mental health and addiction system, as well as an additional $40 million for the opioid response over our term.

“An estimated one in five Albertans will deal with a mental health or substance use issue in their lifetime. These are critical health-care issues and we are improving the system to give every Albertan the opportunity to access appropriate treatment options and get on the path to health, wellness and long-term recovery.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

The funding commitment from the Budget 2019 Fiscal Plan has already supported the creation of more than 3,000 publicly funded spaces at residential addiction treatment centres across the province over the next three years.

Budget 2020 will expand addiction treatments and supports across Alberta. This includes:

  • $20 million as part of the government’s commitment to invest $100 million over four years to implement a Mental Health and Addiction Strategy.
  • $25 million for treatment and recovery supports for Albertans with opioid use disorder.
  • $8.4 million to support Indigenous Albertans and communities in establishing a continuum of addiction and mental health services.
  • $24 million in funding for harm reduction.

This is in addition to the more than $800 million that AHS will be spending next year on a full range of addiction and mental health services across Alberta.

The additional $40-million commitment in Budget 2019 Fiscal Plan for the opioid response has already helped increase psychosocial supports for people recovering from opioid addiction, so they have access to programs and people to help them build the skills they need to lead successful lives in recovery.

The Alberta government will continue to take bold action to improve access to recovery-oriented mental health and addiction care. Every Albertan should have access to treatment and recovery services the moment they need it.

Key achievements to date

  • More publicly funded treatment spaces are being created across the province, including:
  • 900 spaces over the next three years at Poundmaker’s Lodge Treatment Centres near Edmonton
  • 294 spaces over the next three years at Fresh Start Recovery Centre in Calgary
  • 1,722 spaces over the next three years, including 313 medical detox spaces per year, at Thorpe Recovery Centre near Lloydminster
  • 156 spaces over the next three years at Sunrise Healing Lodge in Calgary
  • An investment of $8 million over four years will increase psychosocial supports for people recovering from opioid addiction so they have access to programs and people to help them build the skills they need to lead successful lives in recovery.
  • Government also passed legislation to allow Alberta to participate in the proposed national class action that would hold opioid manufacturers and wholesalers accountable for opioid-related health-care costs and damages.
  • Post-secondary students will also see more mental health supports through text, chat and over-the-phone counselling thanks to $22 million in government funding.
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association - Calgary Region started expanding its successful Recovery College model, with $3 million over three years provided by the government starting last year. Through this program, people in recovery share what works and teach individuals and families the skills, tools and knowledge they need to improve their quality of life.

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