Empathy program coming to local schools

The Alberta government will expand a pilot project that provides mental health supports to children in Red Deer schools, and develop a province-wide approach based on an evaluation of all current school-based mental health programs.

Through the Creating Connections strategy for addiction and mental health, the province has built a partnership between the health system and schools over the last decade and Alberta Health is currently funding mental health programs in 193 schools, in addition to the Empathy program in Red Deer.

Moving forward, Alberta Health will fund an expansion of Empathy in 2015-16. Based on the results of the evaluation, the department will work with Alberta Health Services to develop a province-wide approach to increase access to evidence-based mental health supports.