Alberta Opens Addiction, Mental Health Treatment Beds

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The province has opened 50 new mental health and addiction treatment beds in south and central Alberta. An additional 10 youth treatment beds will be opened near Rocky Mountain House later this spring, making treatment services more widely available in the province.

This initiative adds significantly to the number of treatment beds for Albertans with alcoholism, drug addiction, psychiatric conditions or combinations of these challenges and increases access to full-time, longer term intensive programs for at-risk youth and young adults. These beds are part of the continuum of services for individuals with mental health and addiction issues.

“Families and communities are most at-risk when these health issues are not treated,” said Ron Liepert, Minister of Health and Wellness. “Making treatment and resources more widely available will improve the health and safety of our communities.”

The new beds will expand mental health and addiction programming at five centers in the following communities:

* Ponoka, Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury - 25 beds to serve individuals with both a severe mental illness and a severe substance abuse issue;

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* Calgary, Peter Lougheed Centre - six beds for patients with concurrent general medical and psychiatric illness;

* Calgary, Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre - nine beds to increase capacity from 20 to 29;

* Edmonton, Poundmaker’s Lodge - 10 beds, expanding the young adult program; and,

* Rocky Mountain House, Enviros Association - 10 beds in the former youth correctional facility, Shunda Creek, opening in July.

“We often see vulnerable people in the criminal justice system because they have underlying issues that aren’t being addressed,” said Alberta Justice Minister and Attorney General Alison Redford. “By providing the necessary treatment for addiction and mental illness, these Albertans stand a better chance of avoiding contact with the courts in the first place.”

Last October, 20 treatment beds with programming targeted specifically for young adults were opened in Calgary and Edmonton.

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