From the August 30th edition of The Edmonton Journal:
Gov't pledges $50M to improve service to young people at riskTo read the entire article, click here.
By Alexandra Zabjek
EDMONTON - Raj Sherman stood on the side of a highway, staring at the approaching headlights, then deliberately stepped in front of an oncoming car.
He was 16 years old, the child of an immigrant family in small-town British Columbia, where many children's parents either worked two jobs or didn't work at all.
Luckily, that night the car swerved and just grazed his side. He later told his family the bruises were from sports injuries and told his teachers he had hurt himself at work.
Now parliamentary assistant to [Alberta] Health Minister Ron Liepert, Sherman recounted the story Friday morning at a funding announcement where his government pledged to pump $50 million into children's mental health services over the next three years.
"The reason you have to tell these stories is to break down the stigma about mental health," Sherman said of his experiences.
The funding plan sets benchmarks for how long it should take for children to receive mental-health services in the province -- those in crisis should receive care within 24 hours, those with less urgent cases within two weeks, and those with scheduled visits within 30 days.
Photograph of Dr. Raj Sherman by Candace Elliott, The Edmonton Journal.