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Health foundation helps fund child and youth mental health program

Red Deer Regional Health Foundation supports Step Up Step Down
Red Deer Regional Health Foundation provides funding to Step Up Step Down mental health program from children and youth. (Contributed by Step Up, Step Down)

Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has committed $325,000 to a local mental health program for children and youth.

Step Up Step Down, for youth aged 13 to 17 with complex mental health challenges, will have a new home in the Centre of Excellence being in Red Deer.

The money will provide a fully furnished, equipped and supplied environment to allow staff to provide timely recreational, therapeutic, and extracurricular activities to the youth in care.

“We thank our generous donors for supporting the foundation’s greatest needs, which allows us to dedicate funds to help young people and families in our community,” said foundation CEO Manon Therriault in a statement.


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The move into the Centre of Excellence means the Step Up Step Down program to expand to up to 16 beds from the current five beds, and allow for more intensive, comprehensive, individualized clinical services to youth in a live-in and community setting.

Funded items include furnishings, equipment, and supplies for the kitchen, bedrooms, sensory and therapy rooms, classroom, living room, gym, outdoor spaces, and indoor activity spaces.


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Step Up Step Down will support about 50 to 75 live-in treatment families, along with 100 intensive outpatient families per year, which will reduce stress on the emergency department and pediatric psychiatric units at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

The program will serve youth and families from all areas of Alberta Health Services Central Zone.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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