On May 7, 2018 Alberta Health announced additional funding of $5 million dollars for the MHCB in Schools Initiative. This additional investment will allow for the development of up to 15 new programs, expanding the reach to more than 100,000 students across the province.The Call for Applications has now closed. AHS is in the evaluation phase to identify the 15 successful applicants.
The Mental Health Capacity Building (MHCB) in Schools Initiative works to promote positive mental health in children, youth, families and support individuals in the community who interact with children and youth. The MHCB initiative is based on research and best practice literature that demonstrates that mental and emotional wellbeing can be developed, nurtured and supported through promotion and prevention efforts.
MHCB provides the staffing and support required to implement an integrated, school-based community mental health promotion and prevention program, and works with community partners to facilitate access to early intervention and treatment services for those who require it. The programs are locally planned, coordinated and implemented through collaboration with Alberta Health Services zone operations and existing partnerships, school jurisdictions, parents, community agencies and other regional service providers.
To promote positive mental health in children, youth, families and individuals in the community who interact with children and youth.
To promote positive mental health in children, youth, families and communities by raising awareness, increasing knowledge, building personal skills (such as self-care and self-regulation techniques), developing interpersonal skills and fostering positive community norms (such as support networks, physical and psychological safety).
To intervene early by facilitating access to early intervention and treatment services for children, youth, parents and/or caregivers who are at greatest risk of (or are currently experiencing) addiction and mental health issues. (This includes the use of screening as indicated by AHS).
Improve knowledge of and access to effective and innovative services across the mental health continuum through community collaborative networks with schools, health supports, and community agencies to coordinate and streamline existing services (while identifying and advocating for unmet needs)..
The MHCB initiative is aligned with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services provincial strategies which emphasize promotion and prevention along with early identification and intervention. The diversity of approaches used by MHCB is based on research and best practice literature, and is reflective of the needs and resources of individual communities. This includes the engagement of traditionally under-served populations.
What it looks like:
The MHCB staffing model includes a full time Coordinator and several Success Coaches (also known as Wellness Coaches).
MHCB team members work within school settings to: