Families

CMHA – Calgary Region builds awareness and provides education and support for individuals and families with a mental health and/or addiction concern, or a loss by suicide. Family and friends often have a difficult time coping with and wonder how best to help a relative or friend with a mental health and/or addiction concern. Through our Workshops & Classes, Drop-in Groups and One-on-One Supports, family members can access support and specific information and resources to aid individuals in maximizing their ability to assist those affected with a mental health and/or addiction concern or loss by suicide while staying balance in the process.

Our Peer Support service provides the opportunity for anyone – individual, family member or professional – looking for a connection with others, who is new to the mental health and/or addiction community, or looking for information about a mental health diagnosis, the chance to speak with someone with lived experience. Peer support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402, face-to-face at the Kahanoff Centre (Suite 400, 105 – 12 Ave. SE) or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. There is always a peer available to connect individually from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday to Friday, and Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm (excluding holidays).

Please note: CMHA – Calgary does not provide intervention for individuals contemplating suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the Distress Centre’s 24-hr Crisis Line at (403) 266-HELP or visit their website. If you or a person you know is at immediate risk of harming self or others, please call 9-1-1.

  • Recovery College

We believe that everyone can learn something to support themselves or someone else’s progress on their recovery journey.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to learn together, share experiences and knowledge and most importantly, participate. Not as a patient, client, caregiver or member of staff, but simply a student – no previous education required! Through everyone learning together with only one shared label of ‘student’, we believe that we can begin to break down the barriers and stigma that exist, and support you whatever your background, to benefit from the richness of experience.

At Recovery College we use an educational-based approach to help people recognize and develop their own resourcefulness and awareness in order to become experts in their own self-care, make informed choices and do the things that they want to do in life.

All of our courses are developed and delivered in partnership with our peer support workers who are experts by experience: they all have their own lived experience of mental health or addiction, or are supporting someone else with a mental health or addiction challenge.

At the Recovery College we place emphasis on people’s talents and strengths. We will inspire optimism, encourage students to consider their future opportunities, and move towards a culture of personal empowerment and feelings of hope.

Our registration process is quick and simple, take a look at the diagram below to see the process. Take a look at our course prospectus or our course calendar, we hope this will give you the information you need to help you make decisions about registering as a student, and any courses you might want to sign up for.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at 403-297-1402 or email recovery.college@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. Click here to view courses and to register.

  • Capable Carers

The Capable Carers group is a place where family members can get support when their loved one is impacted by mental illness. Capable Carers, led by a CMHA counsellor, offers a safe nonjudgmental environment that uses a psycho-educational and practical approach. This 10-week closed group will explore some topics such as self-care, boundaries, communication, grief and loss, crisis recovery, etc. It is a place where participants can openly discuss and share experiences, empathetically connect with others, and create a sense of hope.

Family members receive education on coping skills and capacity to support loved ones, while understanding the tools to help decrease burnout for themselves. The group environment provides opportunity for connection to others, decreased feelings of isolation and increased feelings of hope.

Eligibility for the group will be determined in collaboration with a counsellor. Registration and fees do apply. Please note, this group has an ongoing wait list. Individuals who are place on the wait list will be registered for the next available group in the order their names were added to the list. For more information or to register, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Life After Loss

The Life after Loss group is co-facilitated by experienced counsellors and volunteers who have lost someone to suicide and have undergone training in peer facilitation. Individuals will receive knowledge about the grief process, in an environment they can create connections with others to develop a network of support. The group provides members with an opportunity to meet others who have experienced a similar loss, and to explore their own grief on a new level in a safe and supportive environment.

Groups take place once a week over a 10-week period, several times per year. Fees are based on a sliding scale. No one is refused service due to financial reasons. Registration and previous one-on-one sessions with one of our counsellors is required. For more information or to register, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Family Support Drop-in

The Family Support Drop-in is a CMHA counsellor facilitated group where family members of those impacted by mental illness can receive support. The group offers a safe, non-judgmental space to openly discuss and share stories, while connecting and networking with others who can relate. It is place to share experiences, empathetically connect with others and create a sense of hope.

CMHA – Calgary Region has partnered with South Health Campus to facilitate Family Support Drop-in groups every second Tuesday of the month from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. No registration is required, however, please plan to arrive for 5:45 p.m. to fill out paperwork. This group is for adults only. For more information, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

Upcoming Sessions:

Location: Wellness Centre at South Health Campus (4448 Front Street SE)
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm 

Dates:
Tuesday, January 9
Tuesday, January 23
Tuesday, February 6
Tuesday, February 20

  • Caregiver Connections Drop-in

Caregiver Connections: Finding Your Balance provides family members/friends/caregivers of those living with a mental health and/or addiction issue with a customized program to find balance, acceptance and hope. This program is open to all who are looking for support: a sibling, child, parent, friend, a partner or grandparent. The program focuses on the needs of those living with or caring for someone with a mental health and/or addiction issue, who are often themselves left unattended to. There are many supports available to someone living with a mental health and/or addiction issue, but caregivers are often left in the dark, perhaps feeling confused, frustrated, scared and even angry. Through the support of peers with lived experience, family members will learn to take care of themselves by finding their own balance, and creating a network of support.

This new program offers weekly drop-in groups featuring 100% caregiver-crafted content, with group leaders who are caregivers and have graduated from CMHA’s “Peer School”. Through the support of peers with lived experience, participants learn to take care of ones self, ask for help when necessary, learn about the importance of boundaries and self-care, and when to say no, in addition to other key topics as identified by family members.

The focus of the program is on the caregiver. The purpose is to pass on essential tools to individuals and their family members that will help effectively support their loved one, without compromising their own journey and wellness. The drop-in groups provide caregivers knowledge on coping strategies, resiliency, recovery and wellness. Caregivers will find connections with others in a similar situation, and begin or continue to create a natural support system to stay well in their own recovery journey.

Upcoming Sessions: 

*Note, these groups do not run on Statutory Holidays. Groups will not run between December 25, 2017 – January 2, 2018. Groups will resume as of January 3, 2018.

*New Times and Locations!

Dates: Mondays
Times: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Crowfoot Primary Care Clinic, Crowsnest Room, Suite 201 – 60 Crowfoot Crescent NW, T3G 3J9

Dates: Tuesdays (This group will begin January 17, 2018)
Times: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: CMHA Welcome Centre, #105, 1040 – 7 Avenue SW, T2P 3G9

Dates: Tuesdays (This group will only run on January 9 & 23, February 5 & 20, and March 6, 2018. It will begin weekly after March 6, 2018)
Times: 
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: South Health Campus, 4448 Front Street SE, T3M 1M4

Dates: Wednesdays (This group will only run on December 13 & 20, 2017, and January 3 & 10, 2018)
Times: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Kahanoff Centre, Suite 400, 105 – 12 Avenue SE, T2G 1A1
*Elevator locks at 4 pm, please ask the concierge to let you up*

Dates: Wednesdays
Times: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Eastside Family Centre, #255, 495 36 Street NE

For more information, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Suicide Bereavement Drop-in

This group, facilitated by a peer volunteer survivor and a CMHA counsellor, provides a confidential and safe space for those who have experienced a loss by suicide to share, network and meet others who can understand and provide support. Individuals are supported through their loss, in an environment they can create connections with others to develop a network of support.

Groups are free and no registration is required. For more information, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Peer Support & Navigation

“Peer support is ‘the process by which like-minded individuals with similar experiences – who have traveled or are travelling the road – encourage and assist each other to continue the recovery journey.’” – Canadian Coalition of Alternative Mental Health Resources

CMHA’s Peer Support service provides the opportunity for anyone – individual, family member or professional – looking for a connection with others, who is new to the mental health and/or addiction community, or looking for information about a mental health diagnosis, the chance to speak with someone with lived experience. Our peers provide: a warm welcome; understanding; knowledge of the mental health and/or addiction community; connection to mental health and/or addiction services; a bridge to services in the community; emotional and social support to others who share a common experience. Individuals make a connection with someone with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction, to increase engagement with community, move through the recovery journey to develop skills and build resilience to stay well in community.

When an individual reaches out to CMHA the first person they talk to will be someone who may have travelled a similar journey to their own who can assist and provide information on options, opportunities and supports available. They have had over 120 hours of training on relationships, recovery and peer support and a lifetime of experience. Finally, our peer workers are special because they are able to connect with individuals that are often left feeling disconnected by the health system as they share a common experience and understanding with those they speak with.

Our peer support program can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402, face-to-face at the Kahanoff Centre (Suite 400, 105 – 12 Ave. SE) or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. There is always a peer available to connect individually from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday to Friday, and Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm (excluding holidays).

Please note: CMHA – Calgary does not provide crisis services. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the Distress Centre’s 24-hr Crisis Line at (403) 266-HELP or visit their website. If you or a person you know is at risk of harm, please call 9-1-1.

  • Counselling – Suicide Bereavement and Family Support 

CMHA offers counselling to family members or friends living and coping with a relative or significant other who is suffering from a mental health issue, and suicide bereavement counselling for those individual survivors, families and couples to develop an enhanced understanding of their own grief process.

In our Family Support Counselling, family members who are caring for a loved one with a mental health and/or addiction issue are supported through one-to-one interactions to receive coping strategies and maintain their own wellness.

Through our Suicide Bereavement Counselling individuals are supported through the one-to-one interactions to receive coping strategies to stay well after the loss of their loved one. One-on-one grief counselling can be a complement to other resources such as short term Employee Assistance Programs. This service is available for people in Calgary who are 18 years of age and over. Appointment may be made by the individual or by referral.

Fees for all counselling services are based on a sliding scale. No one is refused service due to financial reasons. For more information or to book an appointment, phone 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

Reach out for help

Contact the Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region for more information at (403) 297-1700 or email: info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.