Calgary Economic Development: Supporting Community Mental Health

Calgary Economic Development: Supporting Community Mental Health

Reshifting Tradition

Calgary Economic Development’s signature event, Economic Outlook, is altering its approach this year by hosting the program online with all net proceeds going towards the Calgary Food Bank as well as our organization, Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region.

Brad Parry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Calgary Economic Development stated this is the first time their non-profit organization has redirected their proceeds to local charities.

“It was imperative to make sure that the community understood that we were there for them, that we knew the challenges going on and that in this small way, we can actually make sure to give back to our community.”

Every year government representatives, community leaders and local businesses attend Economic Outlook to gather new information about the future economic trends for the City of Calgary and the province.

Although the first of its kind, the 2021 Virtual Economic Outlook promises informative deliveries from keynote speakers Chief Economist Todd Hirsch (ATB Financial) and Research and Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux (Business Development Bank of Canada)

“We just felt it was a really good time for us to bring some awareness and shine a light and hopefully get some conversations happening around mental health.”

Brad Parry | VP Marketing & Communications

“It’s a chance to hear people from our system talk about what’s really happening in the city,” Parry said, “[The attendees] will have a global view of what is happening outside the Calgary market and how it impacts us.”

Acknowledging Mental Health at the Workplace

Particularly this year, Calgary Economic Development has seen a common workplace trend among themselves and different sectors about the importance of vocalizing and practicing internal mental health strategies.

“What I love about the opportunity is opening those conversations up and removing those stigmatisms around discussing mental health. In our organization we’ve installed an app called headversity to help employees cope and give them outlets or resources to help manage the mental stress they go through.”

Parry and his colleagues also have regular one-on-one check-ins as a way to inform one another of what they have been feeling in silence in a safe and shared environment.

On his off days, Parry enjoys the physical outlet of exercising where he can unhinge, clear his head and once back in the office, lead by example.

“I’ve been through a lot of career iterations and and it’s really just about compartmentalizing. Making sure you can put [mental stress] in one spot and come back to it when you’re ready […] By me not able to do my job is not going to allow others to do theirs.”

Calgary Economic Development’s 2021 Virtual Economic Outlook Event

The virtual aspect of this year’s event creates the opportunity to give the basic need of food as well as the universal right of mental health care to Calgarians in need.

For more information about attending the Economic Outlook program, please visit the News + Events page on their website or the Showpass page for ticket prices.

Our Welcome Centre is now open for one-on-one peer support on Wednesdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. Counselling programs for Suicide Bereavement and Family Support are also still available through phone at 403-297-1708, email counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca or online through Community Connect YYC.