Dr. Xin-Min Li and Dr. Nick Mitchell Appointed to New Alberta Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council

Alberta Health has announced the formation of the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council.

01 February 2020

Alberta Health has announced the formation of the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council.

The council will focus on treatment, recovery and justice programs, as well as home care and primary care, with the aim of increasing quality and access to a recovery-oriented mental health and addiction system.

It is expected to table a final report by June 30, 2020.

Dr. Xin-Min Li, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Nick Mitchell, Senior Medical Director, Alberta Health Services, Addictions and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network, are members of the council.

Dr. Mitchell is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

“I’m very excited and honoured to be part of the new advisory council. I believe there is a real opportunity with the new provincial government to make significant steps forward in improving mental health and addictions services for all Albertans,” said Dr. Li.

“Recommendations from the council will move our mental health strategy toward our vision that Albertans have an opportunity for recovery, hope, and to live healthy productive lives,” said Alberta Health, in a news release announcing the creation of the advisory body.

“The council will collaborate with stakeholders to identify key actions to improve access to recovery-oriented mental health and addiction services, with particular focus on primary and home care services, and for people in crisis or in contact with the justice system.”

The council will build on the work of prior related research, including:

 Stakeholders will include existing Mental Health and Addictions Advisory and Integration Committees including:

  •  Community members/organizations representing crisis services, home care services, First Nations and Métis health and civil society representatives;
  • Community service providers such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Alberta Alliance on Mental Health, the United Way, faith-based organizations, for-profit and not-for-profit service providers;
  • Government ministries and agencies including Alberta Health Services, Mental Health Patient Advocate, law enforcement and justice authorities; and
  • Industry representatives from oil and gas, private insurers and other business organizations.

“The advisory council brings together members with lived experience, experience in emergency and crisis services, mental health and addiction recovery services, primary and home care settings, Indigenous health, justice, law enforcement and civil society,” Alberta Health added.

Co-Chairs are Laureen MacNeil, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region, and Patrick Nixon, former Executive Director of Oxford House Foundation of Canada. Nixon also has lived experience with homelessness, incarceration and addiction.