Our kids are in crisis.

 

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Alberta’s existing mental health crisis has been exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and our children are paying the price for government inaction. This is a crisis that must not be ignored.

We ask you to join with us and write to our Provincial Government to encourage them to adjust our mental health systems to better protect our children. (Sample letter below.)

 

 

The CBC has recently completed a news series about the escalating mental health crisis our youth are facing. Visits related to mental health in Alberta’s Children’s hospitals have jumped by 38 per cent since 2018; the number of kids and teens seeking help for self-harm has increased by 135 percent in the same time frame. If you missed this series, you can find it here: Kids in Crisis.

 

 

The global pandemic has impacted the emotional, physical, financial and social well-being of all Albertans. It has revealed the need to address the mental health challenges we face while also building the mental health resilience of all Albertans.

To do this, policy decisions and services provided by the Alberta Government need to be based on an understanding of brain science, how to build resilience, and the impacts of unpredictable and prolonged trauma and stress on our bodies.

We are asking that:

1. The Ministries of Health and Education work together to implement a mental health framework for early intervention, prevention and teaching mental wellness in our schools that includes:

◦ Comprehensive whole-school approaches to mental health for K-12 focusing on the wellbeing of students, staff and families

◦ Sustainable funding for trained mental health coordinators for each school (or one person per 1000 students) to implement strategies and bridge services across sectors.

2. The Province implement trauma-informed care across all appropriate ministries, departments and service offerings and include trauma informed training as a part of mandatory staff training in every branch of service delivery.

At the initial meeting between the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) and the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Mike Ellis, the Government promised to keep meeting with our members to advance solutions together. Since then, they have not responded to any of our communications.

Thus we are also asking:

3. That the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and his staff continue to meet and work with our CACG leaders so we can advance solutions that address the mental health crisis with our youth and in our communities.

Please join with us in asking our provincial representatives to take action on the mental health concerns of our youth and our communities and to join us in finding solutions. We encourage you to write to Minister Ellis:

• Minister Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health: [email protected] 

We also encourage you to send a copy of your letter to Minister Ellis to your MLA and the following people:

• Marshal Smith, Chief of Staff for the Minister of Mental Health: [email protected]

• Minister Jason Copping, Minister of Health: [email protected]

• Premier Jason Kenny: [email protected]

• Opposition Leader Rachel Notley: [email protected]

• Lori Sigurdson: Critic for Mental Health and Addictions: [email protected]

• Your local MLA which can be found at: https://www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly

 

 

Sample Letter

Please consider the below sample letter when sending a message to the above email addresses.

Letters sent to public officials are often reviewed by staff: meaning that adding in personal stories and making the below letter your own is key for it to push decision makers into action.

Dear Minister Ellis,

Alberta’s existing Mental Health crisis has been exacerbated by the ongoing Covid19 pandemic and our children and youth are being profoundly affected. Mental Health issues continue to be a dominant issue in our communities.

Visits related to Mental Health at Alberta’s Children’s hospitals have jumped by 38 per cent since 2018. The number of children and teens seeking help for self-harm has increased by 135 percent in the same time period.

I am writing to call on our Government to act and invest in the Mental Health of our people. As a member of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, I am also calling on the Province to actively work with us to find and advance solutions.

I am writing to ask the following:

1. The Ministries of Health and Education work together to implement a Mental Health framework for early intervention, prevention and teaching mental wellness in our schools that includes:

a. Comprehensive whole-school approaches to mental health for K-12 focusing on the wellbeing of students, staff and families

b. Sustainable funding for trained mental health coordinators for each school (or one person per 1000 students) to implement strategies and bridge services across sectors.

2. The Province implement trauma-informed care across all appropriate ministries, departments and service offerings and include trauma informed training as a part of mandatory staff training in every branch of service delivery.

At your initial meeting with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) you promised to keep meeting with our members so that we might work on and promote solutions together. Since then, we have not received a response to any of our communications. Thus we are also asking:

3. That the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and his staff continue work with our CACG leaders so we can help identify and promote solutions that address the Mental Health crisis with our children and youth, and in our communities.

Addressing Mental Health issues and building our Mental Health must be a priority for our Government. I look forward to hearing how we may work with you and the Government to address this crisis.

Sincerely,

[[ Your Name ]], [[ Postal Code ]]

 

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