March 10, 2023
New Mental Health Centre for Youth Now Open
Overwhelming community support for The Summit provides families with three new services
Thanks to an incredible partnership among Alberta Health Services, the University of Calgary, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and thousands of generous donors, The Summit: Marian & Jim Sinneave Centre for Youth Resilience, Calgary’s first community-based mental health centre for young people, will open to families at 10 am on Monday, March 13.
Located at 1015 – 17 Street NW, the Summit will provide three new resources for kids, teens, and their families: Owerko Family Walk In Services, Tallman Family Treatment Services and the Ptarmigan Day Hospital. These services and other programs will provide mental health support for young people up to the age of 18 with the aim of helping them address issues as early as possible.
The new centre is expected to help about 8,000 young people and their families every year.
Creation of The Summit was made possible through the foundation’s Build Them Up campaign launched in 2018. More than $50 million was raised to fund construction as well as innovative program and research enhancements.
“Thanks to our wonderful community, young people now have a place just for them, specially designed to help them grow stronger and more resilient,” says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We hope every person who enters The Summit will feel all the love and support that has gone into creating it.”
Young people and families played an integral role in shaping the look and feel of the new centre and are providing input into programs, research and care delivery.
“My hope is that kids will see how welcoming The Summit is and will reach out for help way sooner than I did,” says Julia Caddy, a member of the Youth Advisory Council. “We want young people to know that they are not alone. They can find the support they need right here, every day of the week.”
Owerko Family Walk In Services offers no-cost therapy sessions for children, youth and families who need help with specific issues and possible solutions. These services are available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week.
Tallman Family Treatment Services helps young people manage acute escalating symptoms to help prevent or reduce the need for hospitalization.
The Ptarmigan Day Hospital is the city’s first pediatric mental health day hospital, helping youth transition from around-the-clock inpatient care to eight to 10 hours of daily intensive therapy in a community setting.
“Improving access to mental health and addictions services is a priority for our government,” said Premier Danielle Smith. “The opening of this new facility will help improve access to mental health and addictions services for children, youth, and their families.”
The Summit’s services will augment and integrate with a continuum of existing services provided by AHS and community-based agencies.
“When children or young people are in crisis because of mental health challenges, we want them to be met with care and compassion,” said Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction.
Mental health issues are the single-largest health problem facing young people in Canada today. With one in five children and teenagers struggling with conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia, the demand for services is higher than our health system can accommodate.
“Just as physical health issues rely on experts to fix and heal, mental health challenges require the specialized skills of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists,” adds Jason Copping, Minister of Health. “The urgent and intensive care The Summit will offer provides children and teens with expertise and in an environment tailored for them to succeed.”
By providing families with greater access to timely assessments, intervention and therapy, The Summit is designed to help reduce admissions and lengths of hospital stays for children and teens. Overnight stays will not be part of care provided at the new facility. Patients being admitted to hospital will continue to be cared for at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“Having all these mental health services under one roof will make it easier for children, youth, and their families to access the care they need,” says Mauro Chies, Alberta Health Services (AHS) Interim President and CEO.
In partnership with the University of Calgary, The Summit will also be one of the most research-intensive community-based mental health facilities for young people in Canada. This component will be key in developing, testing, and refining new clinical interventions while providing the best in mental health care and supports.
“The Summit will incorporate accessible mental healthcare with leading-edge research, so we can mobilize academic insights into the best possible clinical care for children and youth,” says UCalgary President Ed McCauley. “The University of Calgary is honoured to be a part of this historic milestone for child and youth mental health in southern Alberta.”
To learn more about The Summit, visit www.ahs.ca/thesummit