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AHS announces new mental health support for youth in crisis at central Alberta emergency departments

‘CAST’ launches in Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Rimbey, Lacombe, Red Deer
(Stock image)

There is now additional mental health support available for youth in crisis at emergency departments in Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Rimbey and Lacombe and Red Deer.

Alberta Health Services announced the launch of a a new addiction and mental health team, the Child and Adolescent Stabilization Team (CAST), in a press release June 30.

CAST aims to ensure youth and their families in crisis have ongoing mental health services within 48 hours of leaving an emergency department.

“For young people, it is important that we as a government are providing the resources and connections they need to get help where and when they need it,” said Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, in the release. “This new team will be an important way to get youth and their families onto the path of mental wellness.”

CAST works to ensure patients and their families return home after leaving the emergency department with connections to appropriate community services.

“Youth experiencing crisis need to know they are supported,” said Amy Klimosko, a director with Addiction and Mental Health in AHS Central Zone. “We want patients and families to know they are not alone. We are here to walk with them through their recovery journey and ensure they are connected to the right services.”

CAST is available Monday to Friday from 4:30 to 10 p.m., and on weekends and statutory holidays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Clients can also call Access Addiction and Mental Health at 1-888-594-0211 for non-urgent addiction and mental health information and services in AHS Central Zone.

For 24/7 emergency mental health support, Albertans can call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642, call 911, or visit the nearest emergency department.

Black Press Media Staff

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