Alberta Health Services (AHS) recently announced it will be consolidating all of its mental health and addictions services under one provincial program.
Currently, AHS provides a significant number of supports and services through its Provincial Addiction and Mental Health portfolio, with a number of services and programs overseen and run separately through AHS’ five Zones.
AHS states the restructuring will improve coordination and oversight of services and achieve better outcomes for Albertans, and is being done in response to a mandate latter given to Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Dan Williams by Premier Danielle Smith.
“We have an important responsibility to ensure that no matter what part of the province is called home, individuals can access the best mental health care and addiction treatment we have to offer,” said Williams in a release.
AHS official administrator Dr. John Cowell said the step will ensure a consistent and effective approach to mental health and addiction services across the province.
“It will greatly enhance our ability to provide these necessary and important services to Albertans, wherever they live,” said Dr. Cowell.
AHS states the consolidation won’t impact funding for programs or delivery of services.
Programs and services will continue to be provided at a local level, based on local needs, and delivered by local frontline staff, said AHS.
AHS also affirms the consolidation will help ensure services are aligned with the government’s recovery-oriented approach to mental health and addiction.