The Pathway to Better Mental Health

The Pathway to Better Mental Health – Making Every Step Count for Children in Care (.PDF download)

This booklet was created by Jeff Solberg as part of a collaborative project for ALIGN Association of Community Services and Alberta Foster Parent Association from grant funding provided by the Alberta Government.

How This Guide Can Help You:

1. Avoid Treatment Delays

The Child & Family Services managers who bear the responsibility of approving mental health treatments for children in care need specific information before they can approve a treatment plan. However, a recent survey of management throughout Alberta has revealed that getting the required information after a mental health consultation has taken place can be very difficult and time consuming. Case workers and managers often find themselves scrambling after an initial mental health consultation to fill in the missing pieces. This creates delays that add weeks and often months to the approval process, valuable time lost that is better spent on treatment and healing. This resource will help you identify and record the information that is needed for a quick approval.

2. Be Prepared for Initial Appointment

This resource will help you become organized and prepared for the initial mental health consultation, saving both time and grief for everyone involved. By organizing and preparing the information ahead of time, you are providing the doctor with information that is critical to identifying the underlying issues and providing the most appropriate treatment.

3. Provide Information and Support That Foster & Kinship Parents Need

The author of this booklet recently surveyed foster and kinship parents and the results indicated that the caregivers of children experiencing mental health issues WANT and NEED the type of information, support, and tools provided herein as they guide children in their care down the path of healing.

4. Understand and Manage the Impact in Your Own Life

When an individual in a household experiences mental health issues, it can be said that everyone in the home is impacted; this booklet provides information, encouragement, and ideas regarding self-care, based on the idea that people who care for others need to first take care of themselves.

5. Useful Tools for Caregivers

This resource includes tools to help you prepare for an initial mental health consultation. It will outline the information you will need to gather from the initial consultation in order to get quick approval for treatment. It also includes forms to track changes and monitor side effects once treatment has started.

6. Links to Information and Resources

Check out the links to a range of resources and information which may benefit you as you make plans to work towards better mental health for the child in your care.