Please Help Support Safety, Access and Affordability of Mental Health Services
I am a professional Counsellor living and working in your constituency. I am asking for your support for safety, access and affordability for mental health services in Alberta, by supporting regulation counselling therapy, addiction counselling and child and youth care counselling through the College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta (CCTA).
As you move into the next legislative session, I respectfully request that you bring this issue into conversations with your colleagues, and particularly the Premier, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
Regulation through the CCTA is a win for this government. These are the reasons why:
1. Safety of Albertans receiving mental health services is critical as Albertans are particularly vulnerable during this concurrent crisis of mental health and affordability. Without regulation, there are no minimum standards for ethics, competence or safety for counselling therapy, addiction counselling or child and youth care counselling.
2. Regulation will improve access and affordability of front line mental health services at a time it is desperately needed (at no cost to government).
3. Regulation is fully supported by the public and the professions. –
4. Regulation will improve access to mental health and addiction services in rural areas.
5. Regulation will NOT regulate or impede traditional indigenous healing practices.
6. Regulation increases access to mental health services by Indigenous people. The stalling of regulation restricts Indigenous Albertans from receiving federal funding for their mental health counselling as the Non-Insured Health Benefit is limited to regulated health professionals Regulation will also ensure services provided by counsellors are culturally safe.
7. Regulation will not disrupt the current workforce. ACTA has been working hard over the last four years to develop a robust grandparenting process.
8. Regulation of the counselling professions will increase the number of regulated mental health professionals in the province by over 4000. –
9. Regulation is a requirement for providers under most private insurance plans and government funded mental health service programs. –
10. Regulation will not disrupt the Recovery Model or the many types of peer to peer support that are critical within this model.
11. Peer counsellors will not be regulated. There is a legislated exemption preventing regulation of peer counsellors.
12. Regulation significantly increases choice and autonomy in selecting mental health providers.
13. This government completed a robust and successful consultation in 2021 and the professions completed the work of creating the college, as mandated in the legislation.
The CCTA is ready to open and most of the work is complete. Finalizing this important initiative will not take time or resources away from other important government priorities.
Thank you so much for your support