Every child growing up in Alberta deserves to feel happy and secure. Over 80,000 young Albertans suffer from some kind of mental illness that they may struggle with for the rest of their lives.
Research activities must focus on:
- Improving access to addiction and mental health services to ensure that all children and adolescents are able to receive the help they need;
- Early intervention to treat addiction or mental illness in its early stage and help slow or prevent its progression;
- Prevention and mental health promotion to ensure that children and adolescents have the right skills and tools to deal with adverse experiences - unfortunately, more than 90 per cent of Canadian health care spending goes toward treatment rather than prevention or health promotion;
- Help for suicide and other self-harming behaviours - Indigenous youth are particularly in crisis: suicide rates for Indigenous youth are five to six times higher than for non-Indigenous youth;
- Surveillance and data integration to measure change and combine data from all social systems.