“The natural disasters and economic hardships that have been endured by the residents of northern Alberta have mental health implications. I want folks in these communities to know that Alberta is here for them. Enhanced support is now available to ensure residents have timely access to mental health and addiction recovery services during these tough times. We will get through this together.”
“The people of northern Alberta have faced a series of enormous challenges in the last several years – wildfire, economic downturn, flooding and a pandemic. The cumulative effect of these difficulties can be mentally and emotionally overwhelming. Our government wants to ensure Albertans have the support needed to restore their homes, their lives and their well-being.’’
With one-time funding of $500,000 provided by the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services will create additional mental health capacity in Fort McMurray and Fort Vermilion.
Additional supports include staff qualified to provide psychiatric, nursing and social work support, as well as recovery from addiction in Fort McMurray. This team will work in the community, providing assessment and treatment to individuals with mental health and addiction concerns, as well as coordinating community support. This will include working with RCMP and other community services. Addiction and mental health staffing will also be increased in Fort Vermilion to support residents in that community.
“Dealing with flooded homes and businesses at the height of a pandemic has placed incredible demands upon the residents of this region – residents who have already endured a devastating fire and an economic downturn. This enhanced mental health support will help individuals and families who have already dealt with so much.”
“These mental health services will provide the people of this region with much-needed additional support. I encourage those affected by the loss and destruction of recent flooding to seek mental health support if you are feeling overwhelmed or are struggling. Please know that you don’t need to face these hardships alone; others are available to listen and to help.”
“Recent flooding was an unexpected and unwelcome addition to the stresses already created by a global health pandemic. These enhanced mental health services will support residents doing their best to cope during these extraordinary times. I urge residents of the region to acknowledge when they are feeling overwhelmed and to reach out for help.”