Family Support

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Family and friends often have a difficult time coping with a mentally ill relative or friend and wonder how best to help. The Family Support program provides caring support and specific information and resources to aid individuals in maximizing their ability to assist those affected by mental illness while staying balanced in the process.

Supported in part by FCSS (Family and Community Support Services). For more information or to register for services or groups call 403-297-1708 or e-mail scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

Download and print our Family Support brochure.

Capable Carers 10-Week Educational Group:

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 you can openly discuss and share your experiences, empathetically connect with others, and create a sense of hope.

*Eligibility for the group will be determined in collaboration with a counsellor. Registration and fees do apply.

Upcoming Sessions:

To register for the next session or for more information, please call 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

*Please note: this group has an ongoing wait list. Individuals who are placed on the wait list will be registered for the next available group in the order their names were added to the list.

Family Support Drop-in Group: 

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.

Upcoming Sessions:

Location: Wellness Centre, South Health Campus, 4448 Front Street SE, T3M 1M4

Click here for more information.

Caregiver Connections: Finding Your Balance

Caregiver Connections: Finding Your Balance provides family members/friends/caregivers of those living with a mental health and/or addiction concern 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 (of a youth and/or adult child), 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 concern, who are often themselves left unattended to. There are many supports available to someone living with a mental health and/or addiction concern, 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 as well as an 8 week “Peers helping Peers” workshop 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, you will learn to take care of yourself, 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 you as a caregiver. The purpose is to pass on essential tools to you and your family members that will help give you effective support to your loved one, without compromising your own journey and wellness.

Weekly Drop-in Groups:

Our weekly drop-in groups are designed and delivered by caregivers with lived experience of supporting a loved one with a mental health and/or addiction concern. We invite you to attend our family peer drop-in groups to discuss topics such as coping strategies, resiliency, recovery and wellness, and grief and loss. The drop-in groups will also provide an opportunity for caregivers to connect with others in a similar situation, and begin or continue to create a natural support system for yourself to stay well in your own recovery journey.

Dates & Locations: 

*Note, these groups do not run on Statutory Holidays

Dates: Mondays
Times: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Kahanoff Centre, Suite 400, 105 – 12 Avenue SE, T2G 1A1

Dates: Mondays
Times: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Ranchlands Community Association (Boardroom), 7713 Ranchview Drive NW, T3G 2B3

Dates: Wednesdays
Times: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Eastside Family Centre – Northgate Mall, #255, 495 – 36 Street NE, T2A 6K3
*Note, there will be no sessions running July 26

Dates: Wednesdays
Times: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Quarry Park Library (Program Room), 108 Quarry Park Road SE, T2C 3E7
*Note, there will be no sessions running July 26

*Note, Friday Drop-in Groups are no longer happening effective August 4, 2017. 

8 Session Workshop:

Our 8 session workshop is designed and delivered by family members with lived experience through open discussions and with the support of course materials. The aim of the workshop is to offer a safe place to gather together with trained peers who have similar lived experience, offering hope through shared stories, networking, education, resources and support. You will discuss topics such as finding your balance, learn personal coping strategies, and develop a network of community support. You will resonate with stories and gain useful tools and strategies for supporting yourself in your own personal role as a caregiver.

Dates & Locations: 

Dates: Tuesdays, beginning August 1, 2017 – September 26, 2017
Times: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Kahanoff Centre, Suite 400, 105 – 12 Avenue SE, T2G 1A1

Dates: Thursdays, beginning August 3, 2017 – September 28, 2017 (NO WORKSHOP – September 14, 2017)
Times: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Quarry Park Library (Program Room), 108 Quarry Park Road SE, T2C 3E7

To register for the next session or for more information, please call 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

The Family Support program offers counselling to family members or friends living and coping with a relative or significant other who is suffering from a mental health issue. Fees for counselling are based on a sliding scale. No one is refused services due to financial reasons.

For more information or to register for services or groups call 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.