Supporting the mental health of young Albertans
Alberta’s government is increasing access to mental health and well-being supports for vulnerable children and youth.
An additional $1 million is being invested to expand mental health counselling services provincewide. Funding will go to three agencies that will offer in-person and virtual counselling sessions through Alberta’s Family Resource Network (FRNs).
This funding will increase the availability and accessibility of mental health supports so that all Alberta families, regardless of where they live, can attend rapid, solution-focused counselling sessions. Any family that accesses services through a Family Resource Network agency will be able to benefit from these supports and the full range of prevention and early intervention programming.
The three partner agencies are:
- Catholic Family Service (CFS) in Calgary
- Family Centre of Northern Alberta
- Multi-Cultural Health Brokers in Edmonton
To further support the Family Resource Network, an additional $800,000 is being provided directly to a number of northern FRNs and the eight Metis Settlements in Alberta so they can make their supports more accessible to more remote rural communities.
One of the programs that will be supported by the funding is an Indigenous parenting program to enhance the skills and knowledge of expectant mothers and fathers. The program, offered through the Lac La Biche Canadian Friendship Centre, will be made available to many Indigenous communities across the Northern Lakes FRN.
“We’re committed to support the well-being and mental health of young people. We also said we would address gaps in this new network and that’s what we’re doing. These investments will provide critical mental health services and ensure consistent delivery of those supports across the province.”
Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
“Parents are carrying a heavy load right now. With this funding, we are able to increase the availability and accessibility of our brief mental health supports so that more parents, children and youth get quick access to counselling services to reduce stress, build their skills for connection, and strengthen family relationships.”
Jessica Cope Williams, co-CEO, Catholic Family Service of Calgary
“The additional funding we are receiving allows us to expand our programming across Kikino Metis Settlement and ensure all families in our rural network have access to the full breadth of FRN services and supports.”
Chasity Desjarlais, FRN director, Kikino Metis Settlement
- The Family Resource Networks program was launched in April 2020. FRNs replaced previous Government of Alberta prevention and early intervention programming and ensure consistent services are delivered across the province.
- Last year, 29,000 adults (and their combined 35,000 children) accessed FRN services.
- FRNs deliver prevention and early intervention supports for children aged 0-18 through a ‘hub and spoke’ model. Networks (hubs) coordinate supports in all geographic areas and in various cultural communities across the province either directly or through partnerships with service agencies or providers (spokes).
- Starting May 18, Catholic Family Service will offer in-person counselling services through all Calgary and area-based FRNs; the Family Centre of Northern Alberta will offer in-person counselling through all Edmonton and area-based FRNs; and Multi-Cultural Health Brokers will offer counselling to newcomer and Indigenous families in urban and rural communities.
- Alberta’s government provides $63.3 million of annual funding towards FRNs in Alberta.
- The province’s FRNs comprise 70 hubs and 126 spokes.
- 35 FRNs serve rural and remote communities, including First Nations and Metis Settlements.
- FRNs provide a range of services and supports that focus on:
- strengthening parenting and caregiving knowledge
- social support
- coping and problem-solving skills
- access to community supports and resources
- improving child and youth development
- building resiliency
- fostering well-being