Update: Access 24/7 is now open. Read more here.
We’ve heard your stories and share your frustrations with the current addiction and mental health system. We are excited to announce, in partnership with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, a new groundbreaking service coming soon to Edmonton, with the help of passionate donor support.
Only one year ago Blake Loates was ready to take her own life. After more than 20 years of struggling with mental illness, it had all become too much to bear.
Desperate, she picked up the phone and reached out to a mental health crisis line. The woman who answered was unable to help. She had nowhere to send her in the moment. It was late at night and all the community mental health care doors were closed.
Fortunately for Blake, a friend came to her side that night; it saved her life. She was luckier than some, and the experience demonstrated that timely and streamlined access to mental health care is so very important. The fractures in the system, combined with the stigma around the mental illness, isolate people.
Blake’s story is not unique. Perhaps you or someone you love has gone through a similar experience.
Today, we are excited to announce a new service that will give all those struggling in Edmonton a place to go when they need help.
Addiction and Mental Health Access 24/7
The Addiction and Mental Health service in Edmonton has dozens of programs that deliver specialized inpatient or community-based addiction and mental health services—programs for the young, the old and everyone in between.
The problem is no one knows how to access them.
We hear the same story repeated over and over. There are too many front doors to services. Individuals are often told they are too sick or not sick enough to receive help. Patients and their families don’t feel included in making decisions about their care.
But all of that is about to change thanks to a single door opening this winter.
The Addiction and Mental Health 24/7 Access Centre is coming to Anderson Hall at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, across the street from the Emergency Department.
At Access 24/7 one door will access help, and that door will always be the right door. It marks progress for patients who are desperate for help, and in need of a clear path to the right treatment.
“I know from my own experience that asking for help is not easy,” Blake says, “and knowing where to turn for help is more than half of the battle.”