Even before the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health opens in the Fall of 2022, your donations to Build Them Up are helping kids and families. Community generosity is funding new services that empower families, train frontline health care providers, expand mental health literacy for kids and teachers, and enhance the continuum of care.
ACUTE AT HOME
Acute at Home supports kids who need help but do not need to be hospitalized. In the comfort of their own homes and communities, families receive counselling and assessment services from experts who also help parents navigate the healthcare system and work with schools and families to support kids in their learning environments. Developed in partnership with Wood's Homes and the Child and Adolescent Addiction, Mental Health and Psychiatry Program (CAAMHPP) at Alberta Health Services (AHS), the program will expand to the new Centre when it opens. Read more.
I really can't stress enough how important this program is, not only to my family but also to our community. I believe the program is vital to our children’s well-being as their personal healing in the community is the biggest factor of overcoming mental health difficulties."
MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY
Thanks to a pilot project funded by the community through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, local specialists have become national leaders in providing mental health literacy programs in junior high and high schools. The program was so well received that AHS agreed to take over funding and expand it to schools across the province. Donations will enable the team to develop materials tailored for elementary schools so younger students can benefit, too. The work on this project is just beginning and will be developed jointly with education partners, parents, youth and mental health professionals. You can find the mental health literacy curriculum here.
With a nation-wide shortage of pediatric psychiatrists, this program helps to equip doctors and front-line care providers with the tools they need to help young people and families struggling with mental health issues. The Canadian Research and Education for the Advancement of Child Health program (CanREACH) is a six-month fellowship that trains family physicians and front-line specialists to identify and treat mental health conditions in kids. The goal is to better prepare care providers with the knowledge needed to get families the right kind of care as quickly as possible, minimize trips to emergency departments and reduce inappropriate specialist referrals.
FACING YOUR FEARS
Autistic children are at a heightened risk of experiencing anxiety, which many families say can completely take over their daily lives. The Facing Your Fears program helps high functioning autistic children identify their worries and tackle them head-on. Guided by a team of experts that includes psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists, the 14-week program empowers kids and their parents with a suite of new coping skills and strategies through classes, workbooks and training sessions. Thanks to donations made to the Build Them Up campaign, this program is already changing lives in Calgary. Read more.
Youth and parents now have the opportunity to feel supported by those who have experienced similar mental health journeys by way of a new Peer Support program, the first of its kind for young people to be offered by AHS. Research shows that peer support workers can serve as important role models to help patients in their recovery and to navigate the range of community supports available and even improve outcomes. Peer support workers are already helping families within the Emergency Department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and are also part of an important research project that will inform and develop a peer support program at the Centre once it opens.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
By supporting the Build Them Up campaign, you are changing the landscape of mental health care and research for young people in our city and beyond. With your help, we can support kids and adolescents right now by providing new programs thoughtfully developed to augment and integrate within the continuum of care provided by AHS and other organizations in our community.