Eating disorders are one of the most serious mental health challenges someone can face, but with the right care and support, recovery is possible. As part of building Alberta’s recovery-oriented system of care, Budget 2023 invests $5.3 million over three years to establish a new live-in eating disorder recovery program for young Albertans in Calgary.
The new program will increase access to specialized eating disorders treatment and establish 12 new publicly funded community-based beds, increasing treatment capacity by 200 per cent and supporting up to 72 additional youth and young adults every year. There will be no fees for Albertans to access this treatment.
“Our goal is to ensure every young person in Alberta experiencing an eating disorder gets the care they deserve. With this funding, we’re expanding access to intensive treatment for youth to better support them in their recovery. This is another step in creating strong recovery-oriented systems of care in communities across Alberta.”
“This new program will increase access to specialized eating disorders treatment in Calgary. Our live-in treatment facility will be the home away from home for our young patients, where they’ll receive 24-hour care from trained healthcare providers as they pursue recovery from this serious mental illness.”
This new program closes a gap in the continuum of care for youth and young adults diagnosed with complex eating disorders. With this funding, young Albertans will have access to intensive treatment in a community setting, reducing the need for long hospital stays and increasing positive health outcomes.
The community-based program stems from the tireless advocacy of Calgary’s Silver Linings Foundation and will be run by EHN Canada, a nationally recognized addiction and mental health treatment provider with proven expertise in recovery-oriented care. The Calgary Silver Linings Foundation has raised more than $1 million in capital for the construction of a dedicated facility. Prior to its construction, treatment will occur at an existing EHN Canada site.
“We are thrilled to partner with the government to launch Alberta's first live-in treatment facility for eating disorders. There is a crucial need for this type of facility in our province. Eating disorders have been increasing in youth at an exponential pace since the start of the pandemic and can affect anyone regardless of gender, sex, or socio-economic background. The live-in treatment facility will address a significant gap in the current continuum of care for eating disorders and help provide hope to those impacted by this illness.”
Alberta’s government is continuing to build a recovery-oriented system of care, where everyone struggling with addiction and mental health challenges is supported in their pursuit of recovery. This includes dramatically increasing access to critical mental health supports for children and youth, including expanding mental health classrooms, adolescent day programs and live-in treatment programs, increasing access to digital supports like 211 Alberta and Kids Help Phone, and establishing youth mental health hubs across the province. For more information, please visit Alberta.ca/RecoveryWorks.
Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s bright future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.
- Budget 2023 provides $5.3 million in operating funding over three years to establish a new live-in eating disorder recovery program in Calgary and 12 community-based beds.
- This is in addition to the $1.4 million annually in operating funding from Alberta Health Services.
- Youth aged 13 to 24 with complex eating disorders can be referred through the Calgary Eating Disorders Program. While treatment length varies, the average stay for patients will be approximately two months.
- Albertans experiencing mental health challenges can contact 211 for information on services in their community, including other virtual supports like Kids Help Phone and the Mental Health Helpline.
- Silver Linings is a charitable foundation working with communities, health professionals and agencies to increase the awareness and understanding of eating disorders, provide community support for those affected and expand access to eating disorder treatment and care options.