In September 2011, the Government of Alberta released an addiction and mental health strategy entitled “Creating Connections: Alberta’s Addiction and Mental Health Strategy.” The strategy’s overall vision is to become the best, with healthy communities promoting mental well-being, enabled by a comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate addiction and mental health system.
Five goals shape the strategy:
- Improve the health and mental wellbeing of Albertans in all areas of the province;
- Position individuals and families at the centre of high quality, effective and integrated addiction and mental health services and supports, so their needs are met and problems related to addiction and mental health decrease in the province;
- Improve the capacity of the workforce to effectively address addiction, mental health problems and mental illness;
- Increase public awareness and understanding of addiction, mental health problems and mental illness, thereby reducing stigmatization and barriers to access; and
- Apply informed practice(s) and continually evaluate all policy and service delivery approaches to ensure and demonstrate value. The addiction and mental health system must be accessible responsive and accountable. This strategy builds on the Alberta Health Services Integrated Addiction and Mental Health Service Model, which places consumers and families at the centre of five tiers that describe the continuum of addiction and mental health services and supports.
The strategy’s five strategic directions are:
- Build healthy and resilient communities
- Foster the development of healthy children, youth and families (including seniors)
- Enhance community-based services, capacity and supports
- Address complex needs
- Enhance assurance.
Seven specific key enablers are identified in the strategy to realize these five directions.
For more information, please see “Creating Connections: Alberta’s Addiction and Mental Health Strategy,” September 2011, Alberta Health and Wellness, at www.health.alberta.ca, or the highlights document at www.health.alberta.ca.