Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction along with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. Milliken announced significant funding for Alberta’s 2-1-1 line on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction along with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. Milliken announced significant funding for Alberta’s 2-1-1 line on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Province increases investment in 211

The Alberta Government is doubling its funding for 2-1-1 to significantly increase capacity and improve connection to services.

Wednesday, the province announced they will contribute $15 million over three years to help people of all ages access critical addiction and mental health support services in their communities.

The service provides a single point of contact for information and seamless connections to health services and organizations that support a range of addiction and mental health challenges.

“Increasing funding for 211 is part of our government’s efforts to build a recovery-oriented system of care for mental health and addiction,” said Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction.

“Every month, thousands of Albertans across the province are reaching out to 2-1-1 for help, support and referrals to local services in their communities. For many of them, it’s a life-changing call.”

The province said the funding will help the program meet current call volumes, which have remained high since 2020, as well as connect callers from rural and Indigenous communities with increased culturally and locally relevant supports.

It will also help with the development and implementation of a community engagement strategy, specialized navigation supports for children, youth and families and expand the digital navigation and crisis support hub that allows for seamless transfers between virtual resources.

According to a release, in 2021, 2-1-1 answered more than 100,000 requests from Albertans by phone, text and chat. More than 200,000 Albertans accessed the 211 service listings through the website.

“Expansion of 211 services will enable people to access much-needed care, including evidence-based addiction services like what we offer at Alberta’s Virtual Opioid Dependency Program. Alberta is a leading jurisdiction at helping people connect with much-needed opioid addiction treatment on demand,” said Central Zone VODP for Alberta Health Services Dr. Nathaniel Day.

“In fact, today any Alberta resident can start treatment when and where they need it, with no cost and with no waitlist. Any steps taken to better work together and provide more straightforward access for those seeking help is going to benefit Albertans, their families and communities on their path to recovery.”

centralalbertaRedDeer

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