In September 2006 Alberta Health and Wellness (AHW) launched Positive Futures – Optimizing Mental Health for Alberta’s Children and Youth. This framework outlined strategic directions and activities to achieve optimal mental health for children and youth, zero to 24 years of age.
To advance this framework, AHW announced $38.9 million over three years to improve mental health for Alberta’s children and youth and to support the mental well-being of their families and communities. The funds went towards five projects, three of which build upon A CALL TO ACTION: The Alberta Suicide Prevention Strategy. The remaining two projects relate to building capacity at the local level to address the mental and physical needs of children, youth and their families, as well as Mental Health First Aid Canada training in schools.
In August, 2008 Alberta Health and Wellness (AHW) announced $50.5 million over three years for the Children’s Mental Health Plan for Alberta: Three Year Action Plan (2008-2011). This plan supports a coordinated and collaborative approach to optimizing the mental health and well-being of infants, children and youth up to 24 years of age, and their families. It builds on successful strategies and promotes new initiatives that enhance collaborative approaches between health services, schools and communities all across the province.
Alberta Health Services – Addiction and Mental Health is pleased to be assigned the implementation of the Children's Mental Health Plan for Alberta Action Plan and the 23 actions identified in the plan are being implemented provincially and across all 5 zones in Alberta.
Aim for Success was founded in the Spring of 2008 and came under the umbrella of the Mental Health Capacity Building Initiative.
The funds granted to the program were for a three year period of time with a catchment of three Drayton Valley schools: Eldorado Elementary, H.W. Pickup Junior High School and Evergreen Elementary School.
The new staff immediately began forging relationships with school administration and staff and program delivery soon followed.
By the third year of the first grant cycle program staff grew to three full time and one part-time and mental health programs were being delivered across all grades throughout the three flagship schools.
June 2011 the Aim for Success grant was extended for another three year term this led to another program expansion in 2012. Staff expanded to three full time mentors as well as the project co-ordinator. Catchment also expanded to include Aurora Elementary School and Drayton Christan School.
Today Aim for Success staff are still actively promotion mental health in both the schools and the community.