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Counselling

CMHA Calgary builds awareness and provides education and support for individuals and family members who are supporting someone with a mental health or substance use concern, or who have lost someone to suicide. Family and friends often have a difficult time coping and wonder how best to help a relative or friend with a mental health or substance use concern. Through our Therapeutic Groups, Drop-in Support Groups and Counselling, we offer support and specific information and resources to aid family members in maximizing their ability to assist their loved ones or those they are supporting who are affected with a mental health or substance use concern or a loss by suicide, while staying balanced in the process.

We have teamed up with other Calgary agencies to help Calgarians quickly and easily access various counselling and social supports. Visit www.communityconnectyyc.ca, where you can book online for our Suicide Bereavement and Family Support Counselling, and other supports. Officially, Community Connect YYC will launch this fall, but we wanted to offer you early access while we smooth the edges and connect more organizations.

If you prefer to still book through phone (403-297-1708) or email (counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca), please connect with us.

  • 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 or substance use concern 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 counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca or visit Community Connect YYC.

  • 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.

Upcoming Sessions:

Dates: 

Thursdays, 6 – 8 pm, Online via Zoom
September 10, 2020
September 24, 2020
October 8, 2020
October 22, 2020
November 5, 2020
November 19, 2020
December 3, 2020
December 17, 2020

Groups are free and currently taking place online over Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, please register here. For more information phone 403-297-1708 or email counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Capable Carers

The Capable Carers therapeutic 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 8-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.

Upcoming Sessions: 

Dates: Monday, January 25, 2021 – Monday, March 15, 2021
Times: 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Group will be held online through Zoom. Link will be sent out to attendees prior to the first session.

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 counsellingintake@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

  • Life After Loss

The Life after Loss group is facilitated by experienced CMHA Calgary counsellors. Individuals will receive knowledge about the grief process, in an environment where 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 8-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.

Upcoming Sessions:

Dates: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 – Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Times: 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Group will be held online through Zoom. Link will be sent out to attendees prior to the first session.

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

  • Survivors of Suicide Loss Day 

Every year, over 500 people die by suicide in Alberta. Those left behind are left to navigate an often complex grief process that comes with a loss by suicide. Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is an international day to build support and community for those left behind.

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a one day event for individuals who have lost someone to suicide (parent, child, spouse/partner, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, friend, or extended relationships – wife lost a parent or sibling, parent of someone who lost a partner) to come together and connect in a supportive environment. CMHA Calgary works with a group of devoted volunteers to present a day of support, healing, information, connection and hope for those left behind.

As a result of the current restrictions on large gatherings in Alberta, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMHA Calgary will be hosting a virtual Survivors of Suicide Loss Day via Zoom. No in-person event will occur this year.  We hope to have an in-person event again in 2021.

Due to the highly emotional and sensitive nature of the day, this event is primarily intended for adults over the age of 16.

Virtual Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Date: Saturday, November 21, 2020
Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Hosted through: Zoom
*A Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants by November 20, 2020
Registration is now closed. 

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Program

Please Join our Newsletter to be notified of event registration, information and updates for Survivors of Suicide Loss.

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.