The provincial government is putting another $5 million into children's mental health services to help meet the needs of those in government care.  

The government says 80 per cent of mental illnesses begin in childhood, and the province needs to provide better care for children experiencing mental illness or suffering from a traumatic event.

Today's announcement will add new programs at existing child treatment sites in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. 

"The reason for them coming into care could be trauma and so I wanted to make sure that I find a solution for them to be able to get some treatment immediately," said ​Manmeet Bhullar, the minister of human services.

It will also ensure children at home and those in government care get better access to treatment. 

"We don't need to wait for a child to be assessed, go through the process and potentially wait 60 or 90 days or even longer," said Bhullar.

George Ghitan of Hull Services — the Calgary agency that will be providing these services — says this money will make a difference.

"People are starting to recognize how important children's mental health is and that money is starting to flow that way," he said. 

"It's great that two ministries are starting to really work together, in terms of health and human services, and that there's a commitment to continue working and doing something about it." 

The Wildrose Party says it's pleased with the announcement but points out it just restores money for children's mental health services that was cut in last year's provincial budget.

With files from CBC's Scott Dippel