New partnerships with community organizations will focus on helping seniors improve their mental health. Supports will help older adults get the help they need before acute intervention is necessary. The investment is another step forward in building a comprehensive recovery-oriented system of care that helps everyone get the support they need, when they need it.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to pursue recovery from addiction and mental health challenges, and that includes seniors. Alberta’s government is proud to partner with organizations who are improving the lives of seniors in Alberta every day. We are all working together to help seniors – who have given so much to our province – be healthy and well.”

Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“From isolation to a loss of community, the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on older persons. As we return to normal life, we must continue to address the lasting impacts to mental health and wellness. This funding will help do just that.”

Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing

More than $6.3 million has been committed to support four organizations to deliver mental health and addiction initiatives targeted to older Albertans, including:

  • $3.2 million to the United Way Calgary and Area for the Healthy Aging Alberta Initiative for home-based personal, psychosocial and mental health supports to older adults.
  • $1.5 million to the Imagine Institute for Learning to support the delivery of Mental Health First Aid Supporting Older Adults training, which will focus on training continuing care, home care and seniors lodge staff to respond effectively to emerging mental health problems or crisis among older adults.
  • $1 million to the carya Society of Calgary for a social prescribing initiative, which will increase connections between the health care system and community addiction and mental health supports.
  • $650,000 to the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council for service navigators for seniors, which will help seniors and their caregivers navigate and access addiction and mental health supports.

“Thank you to the provincial government for supporting seniors’ well-being. This funding will support the province-wide, phased-in delivery of a holistic range of services that support the overall mental health and wellness of older Albertans.”

Susan Brooke, vice president, Community Impact and Partnerships, United Way Calgary and Area

“Individuals working with and caring for seniors – whatever the setting – are often the first to notice when a person in their care is experiencing mental health challenges. This Mental Health First Aid training will give front-line workers and family and friend caregivers the tools they need to respond.”

Line Marie Perron, executive director, Imagine Institute for Learning

“When we think of prescriptions, we often think of medications. This new initiative will see ‘social prescriptions’ to community mental health or addiction supports that could benefit an older adult.”

Paula Telfer, chief executive officer, carya Society of Calgary

“While community supports exist, seniors and their caregivers may find it difficult to navigate what’s available. This provincial funding will help us hire service/outreach navigators to make this process easier.”

Shantel Ottenbreit, chair, Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council

Supporting the mental health and wellness of all Albertans remains a government priority. This has included providing more than $53 million early in the pandemic to enhance supports and services during and after COVID-19, expanding youth mental health hubs, streamlining the 211 Alberta process and more. Alberta’s government is also funding the implementation of HealthIM in Alberta, a digital tool that helps law enforcement respond to people in mental health crisis. 

Alberta spends about $1 billion annually on addiction and mental health programs, services and supports. This includes Budget 2022’s allocation of $70 million to build a recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental health care and increase access to vital supports and services.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government is providing more than $6.3 million to support seniors who are experiencing mental health and addiction challenges.
  • Funding will support four community organizations to enhance addiction and mental health supports provided to older adults, help seniors and their caregivers navigate and access community supports, and train caregivers to provide mental health first aid.  
  • Albertans who need help can call 211 Alberta or visit for information on supports, services and resources in their area.