Teams improve access to addiction, mental health supports in Sundre, Olds, & Innisfail

January 19, 2023

SUNDRE – Residents of Sundre, Olds and Innisfail and surrounding areas now have improved access to addiction and mental health services with the launch of crisis response teams in their communities.

A team of Alberta Health Services (AHS) addiction and mental health clinicians – including mental health therapists, registered nurses and addiction counsellors – will be on-call during evenings and weekends to consult in-person with physicians and provide counselling to patients needing specialized crisis support who arrive at the Olds Hospital and Care Centre, Innisfail Health Centre and Myron Thompson Health Centre emergency departments.

“Alberta’s government is building a comprehensive recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental healthcare,” says Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction. “We are working with Alberta Health Services to ensure individuals have timely access to treatment and recovery resources.”

The service provides on-call counselling and support on Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, and from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. Prior to this initiative, patients would receive crisis support care but may have had to wait until regular business hours to be assessed by an addiction and mental health clinician.

“We know many individuals with addiction and mental health concerns present to our emergency after-hours,” says Carla Prediger, Director, West Rural for Addiction and Mental Health in AHS Central Zone. “We are pleased to be able to optimize the expertise we have in place and ensure individuals are getting the timely care they need.”

Community crisis response teams also operate in Drayton Valley, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Lacombe, Rimbey and Rocky Mountain House.

Access Addiction & Mental Health is the access point for non-urgent addiction and mental health information and services. In Central Zone, call 1-888-594-0211.

Supports are always available. To find programs and services, call Health Link at 811. For 24/7 support, call the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322 or the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642. In an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

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. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.