Mental illness: Is Prevention Being Appropriately Prioritized?


April 28, 2016 :: Dr. David Swann
Moderated by Mary Shillington

At some point in the life of every Albertan they are touched by mental illness and addiction. Released in February 2016, an Alberta report (co-authored by Dr. David Swann) on addictions and mental health, highlights the system changes which are critically needed to reduce wait times, improve quality care, and reduce the cost of our current systems of care. Psychiatrists do play a vital role dealing with severe mental illness along with teams of supporting professionals. However, it’s clear that the great majority of mental health and addictions issues could and should be handled by other professionals, including psychologists, family physicians, and their teams. Furthermore, to improve patient outcomes, there must be a shift of resources upstream into prevention efforts with individuals, families, and communities at risk. Without a dramatic shift in the planning and allocation of resources to identify and reduce risk factors earlier and prevent breakdown, the human and financial toll will continue to rise in Alberta. Alberta Health and the health board must take leadership and also provide a new planning partnership that includes education, human services, housing, and police. Two questions must be dealt with in the transformation this report calls for. How do Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services lead a dramatic change within a massive and entrenched top-down culture let alone include other ministries in a new collaborative planning process? And how do the primary care networks step up to a larger role as the mental health home for the 1 in 5 people who need ongoing treatment-based, team-based care to be well?

Speaker: Dr. David Swann Liberal MLA for Calgary-Mountain View

David Swann was elected to his fourth term on May 5th as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the constituency of Calgary-Mountain View. From December 15, 2008 to September 12, 2011, Dr. Swann served as leader of the Alberta Liberal caucus, Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. Dr. Swann was appointed to the Standing Committee on Private Bills on May 24, 2012, and the Standing Committee on Families and Communities on May 28, 2012. He previously served as critic for Health and Wellness and Executive Council. Additionally, Dr. Swann served as a member of the following Standing Committees: Public Health and Safety, Private Bills, Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing. Dr. Swann graduated from the University of Alberta with his B.MSc. in 1971, his MD in 1973 and from the University of Calgary with his FRCP(C) in 1988. He practiced as a family physician from 1975 to 1984 and then as a public health consultant from 1988 to 2004.

Moderator: Mary Shillington
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)


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