In her letter, the Premier outlines her expectation for implementing the “Alberta Model,” which is designed to support those pursuing recovery from the deadly disease of addiction. She lays out her desire for this to be done at an accelerated pace and asks Minister Williams to deliver on platform commitments to support Albertans, including:

  • Investing at least $20 million per year to expand mental health classrooms from 20 to 60.

  • Expanding Integrated School Support Programs to an additional 22 high-needs schools through an investment of at least $4.5 million per year.

  • Increasing support for addiction and mental health prevention by expanding resiliency education in schools.

  • Providing an annual investment of at least $5 million with First Nations and Métis school communities across Alberta to amplify the voice of youth and create opportunities for educators, Elders, parents, coaches and community members to develop their own strategies to enhance student wellness.

  • Working collaboratively with community and government partners to develop compassionate intervention legislation, supporting facilities and legal processes to save the lives of those who are a danger to themselves or others.

  • Implementing recovery community centres for youth in major centres throughout the province.

  • Building and operationalizing at least 11 new recovery communities in key locations throughout the province, working collaboratively with the Ministry of Infrastructure, First Nations and Métis communities.

  • Developing at least five new 75-plus bed mental wellness centres for short- and long-term treatment and recovery.

  • Expanding Counselling Alberta to provide same-day, no wait list, accessible and affordable counselling sessions for all Albertans by investing at least $4 million per year.

  • As the lead, and in collaboration with the Ministers of Education and Children and Family Services, expanding access to young people struggling with severe mental illness with at least four new youth mental wellness centres to provide inpatient mental health and addiction treatment to youth. This should include expansion of prevention and early intervention mental health supports for children and youth that are integrated within schools and communities.

  • As lead, working in partnership with the Minister of Indigenous Relations, to support Indigenous peoples in Alberta by strengthening a comprehensive continuum of mental health and addiction services, ensuring service provision is not disrupted by jurisdictional disputes.

The Premier also tasks Minister Williams with:

  • Completing a review of mental health and addiction-related expenditures within Alberta Health Services and, as appropriate, within ministries across the Government of Alberta to ensure expenditure oversight by the ministry.

  • As the lead minister, continuing to develop a recovery-oriented system of care in Alberta for mental health and addiction in partnership with other government departments that support the mental health and addiction needs of Albertans to ensure consistency across the Government of Alberta.

  • Working with Alberta Health Services to establish a dedicated provincial Mental Health and Addiction Operations division and governance structure within Alberta Health Services.

  • Ensuring the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction is responsible for the management of Government of Alberta funding provided to Alberta Health Services for the purpose of delivering mental health and addiction services.

  • Developing electronic information gathering systems to ensure that system outcomes are standardized, transparent, focus on recovery-based outcomes and explore mechanisms for greater information sharing with lead organizations and other government departments that support the mental health and addiction needs of Albertans.

  • Working with stakeholders across Alberta to help Albertans improve their mental wellness while creating healthy and vibrant communities.

  • Collaborating with federal, provincial and territorial colleagues to ensure that Alberta’s interests are represented when engaging with governments across Canada and to collaborate closely with other jurisdictions when their interests are aligned with Alberta.

  • Working with the Minister of Justice, who is the lead, to assess proposed federal medical assistance in dying legislation amendments to include those with mental health conditions and recommend Alberta's regulation of the profession with regards to it.

  • In collaboration with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, who is the lead, ensuring that police services have the tools they need to support the wellness and recovery of Albertans while they focus on keeping communities safe.

  • Working closely with the Minister of Health, who is the lead, to ensure that recovery from mental health and addiction and increasing the recovery capital of Albertans is a guiding policy in the modernization of Alberta’s primary health care system.

"Our government will not stand by as families and communities are torn apart by addiction. We are committed to compassionately providing recovery supports and mental health care for those suffering from these challenges, and I am grateful to accept the responsibility to implement our plan.”  

Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction