October 24th, 2020

Coaldale man named to Alta. mental health and addiction council

By Mabell, Dave on November 7, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

A Coaldale man is the only southern Albertan appointed to a new provincial mental health and addiction council.

Jacen Abrey, a member of town council, also serves as fire and EMS director for the Blood Tribe.

The Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council is being created to help improve access to mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Government officials say the 23 members “will develop a strategy outlining recommended actions to increase quality and access to a recovery-oriented mental health and addiction system.”

It will place a focus on treatment, recovery and justice programs, while home care and primary care will also be addressed.

“Our government is committed to a recovery-oriented system of care that is fair, firm and compassionate,” says Jason Luan, the associate minister of mental health and addictions.

“We want to eliminate barriers to recovery and give hope to people facing mental health and addiction challenges.”

Laureen MacNeil, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Calgary and Pat Nixon, founder of the Mustard Seed program in Calgary, have been named co-chairs.

“We will strengthen the recovery continuum and give hope to Albertans who are struggling with mental illness and addiction. Recovery will take a front seat in our journey to a healthy and prosperous Alberta,” Nixon says.

The new government has announced plans to invest $140 million into improving the mental health and addiction system over the next four years.

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