Access made easier to addiction, mental health services

June 17, 2019

AHS and partners establish a single point of contact for 24/7 services

EDMONTON – Patients and families with adult addiction and mental health concerns in the Edmonton area can now access services through a single point of contact.

Access 24/7 is now open, providing in-person assessment, crisis outreach and stabilization around the clock, every day of the year.

People seeking addiction and mental health supports can now go to Anderson Hall across from the Royal Alexandra Hospital emergency department, 10959 102 St. N.W. There, they can access walk-in, phone and outreach services, including information and referrals; support for individuals and families to navigate Alberta Health Services (AHS) and community services; consults to community providers; intervention and treatment. They can also access a wide variety of services through one telephone number: 780-424-2424.

“Albertans deserve the ability to access the services they need to help them recover and live healthy, productive lives,” said Jason Luan, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This one-of-a-kind site will make it easier to find and navigate addiction and mental health services that will support their long-term recovery. We will continue working with our partners to eliminate the barriers to recovery for every Alberta family.”

Individuals can still seek help for addiction and mental health concerns at any AHS emergency department. Access 24/7 provides another option for those specifically seeking support for mental health- and/or addiction-related concerns. Access 24/7 was developed following consultations with local and area clients, patients, families, healthcare providers and community organizations, who noted community-based addiction and mental health services were fragmented, with multiple access points and different service delivery hours.

“Streamlined access to multiple services in a centralized care model makes it easier for patients and families to navigate the system and ensure they have access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” says AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu.

Access 24/7 is supported by a team of mental health therapists, nurses, addiction counsellors, social workers, peer support workers, family peer support workers, psychiatrists, pharmacists, support staff, protective services and EMS, as well as community supports from the Edmonton Police Service and RCMP.

The Government of Alberta contributed $1.325 million for Access 24/7, with AHS committing an additional $2.8 million for operational and staffing costs. The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation are providing an additional $1.1 million towards renovations, equipment, and peer and family support workers.

"With partnership comes great power. Together the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation have been making great strides toward reaching our funding goal of $1.1 million. Funding that has helped to open the door to Access 24/7 where patients will find a clear pathway to the right treatment they deserve, anytime, any day that they need it. We couldn't be more grateful for the support of our donors and are thrilled to see their donations in action here today," Andrew Otway, president and CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.

Access 24/7 supplements two existing programs in AHS Edmonton Zone – Access Open Minds-Improving Youth Mental Health Care, and Children and Youth & Families Addiction and Mental Health Community Services – both of which offer centralized pediatric addiction and mental health services.

Established in 1984, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is committed to supporting improved healthcare outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of people who seek treatment at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) every year. The foundation funds ground-breaking education, cutting-edge research, next-generation technologies and facility enhancements. It also supports a growing number of specialized centres of healthcare excellence located at the RAH campus, including the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, the CK Hui Heart Centre, the Orthopedic Surgery Centre and the Eye Institute of Alberta.

The Mental Health Foundation raises funds and mobilizes resources to improve outcomes within Alberta’s addiction and mental health system. Working toward a barrier-free, easy-to-navigate, and fully integrated system, they survey gaps across the mental health care spectrum and invest in programs and initiatives with the potential to ignite transformational change.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

For media inquiries, contact:

Sharman Hnatiuk
AHS Communications

Lindsay Peddle
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation