Youth suicides are unimaginable losses with long-lasting impacts on their loved ones and communities. To ensure those struggling have confidence that help is always available when they need it, Alberta’s government is increasing funding for the Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Program by $1 million. This brings total investment to more than $4 million over the next two years.

“Youth deserve to feel heard, supported, valued and loved, especially when they are suffering. Alberta’s government is proud to support the amazing work youth organizations across the province do to provide early intervention and youth suicide prevention supports, and to help ensure youth have a bright future.”

Searle Turton, Minister of Children and Family Services

A province-wide initiative, this program focuses on helping youth populations at increased risk and enhancing crucial community and suicide prevention supports. Grant funding will be distributed equitably to selected community organizations across the province that work to expand the capacity of existing suicide-prevention initiatives, or pilot new, innovative initiatives that address identified suicide-prevention gaps and unique community needs.

“Anyone facing mental health challenges or thinking about suicide deserves to know help is available and recovery is possible. The continuation of this funding will ensure access to these prevention services across the province.”

Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

Since the grant launched in 2022, approximately 927 youth have been directly supported through the grant program, and more than 1,100 individuals have been provided with information and connected to mental health resources to support youth in their community.

The renewal of the program builds on the ongoing work government is doing to implement evidence-based interventions that address mental health and addictions and provide youth with hope of a better future.

“The work we have been able to accomplish at Y Mind Program thanks to our Youth Suicide Prevention Grant underscores the critical importance of investing in youth suicide prevention. This is a transformative seven-week mental wellness initiative tailored to youth aged 13-18 grappling with mild to moderate anxiety. We have witnessed a profound shift in participants' well-being. The majority of youth emerge from the program with heightened resilience, experiencing a notable decrease in symptoms associated with generalized anxiety and reduced feelings of loneliness.”

Jackie McGowan, vice president, YMCA of Northern Alberta

Applications will open on March 4 and be issued on two-year terms starting July 1, 2024. The application deadline is April 15, 2024.

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