Why do emerging adults need special services?
Mental health experts now recognize that young people between the ages of 16 and 24 have their own developmental, neurobiological and psychosocial characteristics different from both children and adults. This is a critical stage of development. In the Calgary area, emerging adults account for less than 11% of the population, yet they represent 27% of mental health inpatients and 21% of outpatients. Today, there is just one AHS service specifically designed to help emerging adults with moderate to severe illness. Demand has outpaced capacity with current wait times of about 12 months.
Will this be a physical centre like the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health?
This initiative will lead to the development of a blend of both virtual and physical space, designed to deliver leading care and generate new knowledge in the most efficient and effective ways possible. How that will look will be informed through a phased approach, and after extensive consultation with young people and their families.
Why is the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation involved in this?
Through our collective efforts to build the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health, in partnership with Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary and, of course, our generous community, the need to support this equally vulnerable population became evident early on. Driven by feedback and concern, which has only grown with COVID-19, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to once again find solutions for our community.