(Canada) Alberta: $5M grant "to increase mental health supports in schools"

May 8, 2018, (Canada) Calgary Herald: New funding aims to expand mental health supports in schools across Alberta A $5-million provincial grant is intended to increase mental-health supports in schools across Alberta, aiming to stem the tide of growing anxiety, depression and social media stress among today’s youth. The NDP government announced the new funding will be used to hire staff and build new school-based community mental-health programs benefiting more than 100,000 students provincewide. “We’ve heard from concerned parents and educators of a growing need for counselling and other mental-health programming,” said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. … “We’re hearing from staff, students, families that students are feeling more stressed about things and they want opportunities and resources to support their learning.” Barb Silva, spokeswoman for Support Our Students student advocacy group, also applauded the funding, saying she sees at least a dozen emails a month from parents whose children are struggling with mental-health challenges. … The $5 million will go toward expanding the existing Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Initiative, which currently supports 37 school-based mental-health programs, used by approximately 65,000 K-12 students. The investment allows for the development of up to 15 new programs, expanding the reach to more than 100,000 students across the province. … According to a June 2017 Alberta Health study, emergency department visits for anxiety disorders among 15- to 19-year-olds have almost doubled between 2004 and 2016. The increase was greatest from 2010 to 2016, with female rates on average 1.9 times higher than males. Overall, one out of every five kids will face mental-health challenges during adolescence.