Wording changes in mental health act; NDP says beds still closing

Alberta’s health minister says new legislation will make it easier to force those with mental problems to get the help they need.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says new legislation will make it easier to force those with mental problems to get the help they need.

Ron Liepert says it’s critical that individuals with serious and persistent mental disorders get both immediate and ongoing care.

He says amendments to the Mental Health Act allow for early intervention when individuals need mental health treatment and ongoing care after they return to their communities.

Health ministry spokeswoman Donna Schuhltz says the act originally required the person to be “presenting a danger to self or others.”

That wording is now changed to “likely to cause harm to self or others.”

NDP politician Rachel Notley says changing the words won’t matter because there aren’t enough places to treat the mentally ill.

“I think the Mental Health Act changes are sort of an example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing,” said Notley.

“On one hand they’re moving forward with a decision to essentially increase the demand for mental health treatment beds, while at the same time, they’re cutting the supply.”

Schuhltz said if people suspect someone needs immediate mental help they can make a case to a physician, go to an emergency room, call police, or plead their case to a judge who can apply for a warrant of apprehension under the Mental Health Act.

Apprehended people would likely wind up at the Royal Alexandra or Misericordia hospitals or Alberta Hospital Edmonton, she said.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month