By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
An individual’s mental well-being is as important, if not in some cases more important then your own physical health. With Alberta containing a large amount of rural communities, and most rural communities lacking the necessary professionals to assist with mental health, the Alberta government is partnering up with Counselling Alberta to help bring counselling services to all Albertans. This will be accomplished by Counselling Alberta providing virtual mental health counselling services immediately throughout all of Alberta. As well they will also be providing affordable in person mental health sessions by working with local organizations with in Alberta.
“Every Albertan deserves an opportunity to improve their mental health and pursue recovery,” said Mike Ellis, associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in a press release. “Not everyone needs the support of a counsellor to improve their mental health but for many Albertans it can be a tremendous asset in their pursuit of wellness. We have heard from many rural communities that we need to do things better and we need to provide more access to affordable counselling options. This is what we’re doing in partnership with Counselling Alberta.”
As a new division of the Calgary Counselling Centre, Counselling Alberta will be focussing on providing support for Albertans in rural communities with the assistance of $6.75 million over two years provided to them by the Alberta government. This provincial funding will aid in the expansion of Counselling Alberta’s virtual services, and help other counselling partners with coordination, intake, clinical oversight, outcomes measurement, as well as ensuring that the services are affordable for Albertans.
“Counselling Alberta will ensure that all Albertans have access to high-quality, affordable and accessible counselling services no matter where they live,” said Robbie Babins-Wagner, chief executive officer, Calgary Counselling Centre. “We already provide high-quality services to thousands of Albertans and we look forward to serving every Albertan who requires more support to improve their mental health.”