Funding finalized for new Edmonton mental health centre for children

WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta government and the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation are teaming up on a news mental health facility in Edmonton. Tom Vernon reports.

Funding is now in place for a new mental health facility in Edmonton.

On Monday, the Alberta government announced the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation was donating $26 million towards a new children and adolescent mental health centre near the Glenrose Hospital, which would go along with the $200 million set aside in the 2018 provincial budget.

“There is concrete evidence that mental and physical health are linked,” foundation CEO Mike House said. “Research shows that 70 per cent of mental health problems begin in childhood.”

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The new facility will provide treatment for children in Edmonton and northern Alberta for mental health and substance abuse.

READ MORE: Here are 6 things an expert wants you to know about teen mental health and ’13 Reasons Why’

It will have a walk-in clinic and a family resource centre, as well as 101 in-patient beds, specialized out-patient clinics and a mobile response team.

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“For parents who are worried about their child or their teen when they’re in a time of crisis, we know that it’s very difficult and it can be very stressful,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said.

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“It’s vital that we help these families and these patients as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: Pressure to be cool and look good is detrimental to children and teens

Hoffman said the facility will provide everything children and teenagers require.

“Instead of seeking counselling in one clinic, attending an appointment in another and accessing specialist care and medications in another, this will be together under one roof,” she said.

“Kids and teens will have access to hospital beds if they need treatment for their mental health, they will also have access to school-based programming right here on site, and the care will include specialized therapeutic programs that are proven to be beneficial to stronger emotional and mental health.”

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READ MORE: What happens when a child needs emergency care for a mental health breakdown?

The Stollery foundation will have the naming rights for the new centre.

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Construction on the facility is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

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