The Red Deer Native Friendship Society is among a number of groups receiving the provincial government’s help to expand and develop new mental health and suicide prevention supports for youth.
The Suicide Prevention Grant Program is providing $3 million over the next two years to 13 youth-focused community programs, the Government of Alberta announced Friday.
“As part of our youth suicide prevention strategy, these grants will support youth-serving organizations across the province to continue and improve the amazing work they are already doing for kids in their communities,” said Rebecca Schulz, minister of children’s services.
The successful grant recipients are from regions across the province that work locally to serve and support the mental health of young people, including Indigenous youth. This increased funding will help to address gaps and community needs to provide improved mental health supports and programming.
In 2019, the Government of Alberta launched Building Strength, Inspiring Hope: A Provincial Action Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention 2019-2024.
The Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Program was created to help advance the outcomes laid out in the action plan and continue the work achieved through the plan over its first two years.
The Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Program funding will be provided to organizations over a two-year period (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024), and ranges from $50,000 to $150,000 per fiscal year.
These 13 successful applicants will receive the 2022-2024 grants, which are being finalized and will range from about $100,000 to $300,000.
The other groups receiving support in the central region are Camrose Open Door and the Neutral Hills Learning and Community Connection Centre in Consort. Provincial groups are receiving support as well: Centre for Suicide Prevention and First Nations Health Consortium.
Mike Ellis, associate minister of mental health and addictions, said improving youth mental health is a top priority for the provincial government.
“By partnering with community organizations, we are ensuring that youth suicide prevention supports are in place across Alberta. This is essential to help children and youth improve their mental health and prevent suicide,” said Ellis.