CALGARY, ALTA. – Officials have broken ground on a new Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health is in the northwest community of Hounsfield Heights on Northwest Calgary.
The three-storey, 3,200-square metre facility is being built in a partnership between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. It will provide youth with new and enhanced services, including a walk-in clinic with specialized triage and the opportunity for immediate referrals to onsite programs.
It will also include an intensive treatment program and a day hospital. The facility’s services are designed to augment and integrate with existing services provided by AHS and community-based agencies.
“Our government is committed to ensuring healthy futures for children and youth with mental health challenges, as well as their families,” said Premier Jason Kenney, in a press release. “This centre is a great example of how innovative care can be delivered in the community. We believe it will be a tremendous source of hope and help for young people.
The facility is expected to be in use in the fall of 2021.
“We know when children and youth are facing mental health issues, early intervention is key to helping them recover and lead healthy, successful lives,” says Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions. “This centre will go a long way in helping young people build resilience, improve mental health and put them on a path toward recovery.”
According to the province, the centre will be one of the most robust research-intensive, community-based mental healthcare facilities for youth people in the country. It will facilitate research initiatives with several faculties at the University of Calgary, led by experts from the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Mathison Centre at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.
“Beyond serving as an innovative clinical care facility, this new centre represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop and implement a world-leading mental health research program with a direct pipeline from discovery to care – all in one setting,” says Deborah Yedlin, chancellor of the University of Calgary. “Through this centre, we will be enabling research that has never before been possible in our community.”
Officials stated that design and planning work for the project is well underway and so far the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Build Them Up campaign has raised $47.2 million of its $50-million goal to fund construction, along with program and research enhancements. AHS will provide operational funding to staff and manage the new facility.
“We are humbled by the response – incredibly grateful to all those who have stepped up so quickly and so generously in support of the young people and families who will benefit from this centre,” said Saifa Koonar, president and CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.