Our Hospital, Our StoriesAddiction and Mental Health Access 24/7 Improves Mental Health Care

Posted on: Oct 04, 2018

The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation, is grateful to work alongside the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, for the creation of the Addiction and Mental Health Access 24/7 clinic.

The Access 24/7 addiction and mental health clinic will provide patients and families with round-the-clock assessment, crisis counselling and stabilization, referrals and telephone support.

Access 24/7 will be staffed by more than 100 addictions and mental health employees, including mental health therapists, nurses, social workers and addictions counsellors. Twenty of these positions are new.

“When reaching out for help with a mental health or substance-use issue, an individual or family is often already feeling vulnerable. It’s important to remove any barriers they may be facing, including difficulties navigating the system. This new 24-hour clinic will help people receive counselling, treatment and crisis support more quickly.” -Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

“I know from my own experience that asking for help is not easy and knowing where to turn for help is more than half of the battle. This one door means one single point of entry, one place to turn to for help for people just like me. I couldn’t be more thrilled with today's announcement.” -Blake Loates, patient and mental health advocate

Addiction and Mental Health Access 24/7 Improves Mental Health Care

The development of the new clinic follows consultations between Alberta Health Services and 400 individuals from a range of organizations, as well as patients and families, on how best to improve access to substance-use and mental health services.

“Currently, when an individual is seeking addiction or mental-health support, there are many doors to walk through, and it can be difficult to determine which door is the right door. AMH Access 24/7 will give them one door, and staff will be available to help them access the right services at the right time.” -Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“Statistics say that one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Donors to the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation are ensuring that those affected in Edmonton have one door to walk through for mental health care when they need it any time of day or night. Access 24/7 will provide a clear pathway to the right treatment mental health patients deserve, and donations to our foundations are helping to make it possible.” -Andrew Otway, president and CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

The Access 24/7 clinic will be in Anderson Hall, on the eastern side of the hospital grounds. The Government of Alberta is providing $1 million from the Infrastructure Maintenance Program to renovate the space. The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and Mental Health Foundation are raising $350,000 towards the new clinic, which is expected to open this winter.