The Child and Youth Well-being Review was established to better understand the full scope of the psychological, social, educational and physical effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth. The panel engaged with a wide range of Albertans, including researchers, educators, health-care professionals and mental health experts, as well as parents, children and youth.
By addressing the 10 recommendations made by the Child and Youth Well-Being Final Report, this plan includes supports available now and new steps Alberta’s government is taking to support both the short-term and long-term well-being of children and youth.
New actions include:
- Expanding of mental health and behavioural supports in schools to prevent health challenges before they happen.
- Working across ministries to expand prevention and early intervention supports for youth, including expanding youth mental health hubs, expanding phone and virtual supports, and expanding access to mental health supports in schools.
- Targeted funding of more than $110 million over three years to enable schools to support students for pandemic-related issues such as learning loss, school nutrition and mental health supports.
- The Ministry of Education is looking to improve school nutrition in Alberta and will issue a call for proposals from non-profit organizations to collaborate with schools to pilot innovative ways to support vulnerable youth.
- Early childhood educators will receive more training on mental health needs in children from birth to age six.
Ongoing actions include:
- A $1-million expansion to provincewide in-person and virtual mental health counselling services through Alberta’s Family Resource Network.
- A $7.3-million expansion of youth mental health hubs, providing young Albertans with a one-stop shop for services that improve their mental health and overall wellness.
- $390 million for Alberta’s Broadband Strategy to improve internet connectivity for children, youth and families living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities across the province, supported by a matching dollar-for-dollar investment from the Government of Canada for a total of $780 million.
- More initiatives will be announced in the coming months.
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