Saturday , 27 February 2021

COVID-19 cases increase by 126 on Wednesday, Alberta spends $53 million on mental health

There is no update on COVID-19 cases in the Lakeland on Wednesday as the province has experienced technical difficulties with their data.

On Tuesday, a case of novel coronavirus was resolved in the Bonnyville area, which means there are two active cases.

There has not been a new confirmed case of the virus in the Lakeland in several days.

There is nearly 2000 total cases of COVID-19 with 126 new cases confirmed on Wednesday.

No deaths were reported as 48 have already happened in Alberta.

Forty-four people are currently in hospital and 10 are in intensive care, which has been “stable for several days,” said Premier Jason Kenney during the province’s daily COVID-19 briefing.

Just over 2,800 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.

Accurate updates on community transmission numbers and recoveries should be revealed tomorrow, said chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as late yesterday Alberta’s data feed on the virus was shut down or disconnected from the labs.

Province spending $53 million on mental health support

The Government of Alberta is spending more than $53 million to implement more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery support to make it easier for Albertans to access services from anywhere in Alberta during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a government survey done over the past week, 74 per cent said they feel their mental health has been impacted because of the pandemic and 34 per cent report they feel “depressed or hopeless” some days every week.

Just over $21 million will go to improve access to phone and online supports with existing helplines, including the Addiction Helpline, the Mental Health Helpline, the Kids Help Phone and the Community and Social Services Helpline (Alberta 211).

Funding also includes:

  • $2.6 million to expand individual and group treatment to address family violence, addiction and mental health for Albertans
  • $4.2 million to expand the addiction and mental health support available through Primary Care Networks
  • $25 million for a new community grant program to enhance community mental health and addiction recovery for the public, including Indigenous communities, seniors, families and people experiencing social barriers, who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s $53 million in one-time funding is in addition to the previously announced $140 million to create publicly funded addiction recovery spaces for 4,000 more Albertans each year.

Alberta’s Mental Health Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for mental health concerns: 1-877-303-2642.

Alberta’s Addiction Helpline is available 24-7 toll-free and offers confidential support for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and problem gambling: 1-866-332-2322

The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.

The Crisis Text Line Alberta is a service available 24-7 that offers information, referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support for Albertans of all ages, by texting CONNECT to 741741.

Alberta 211 is a free helpline that connects Albertans to community and social services in their area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.