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Groups and Community

CMHA Calgary build awareness and provides education and support for individuals and families with a mental health or substance use concern, or a loss by suicide. We work closely with other community organizations to bridge gaps in the mental health care system and facilitate access to important services and resources.

CMHA Calgary offers a range of mental health education programs for students, community groups, workplaces and organizations. Topics include mental health awareness, stress management, suicide prevention and more.

CMHA Calgary’s YouthSMART (Youth Supporting Mental Health and Resiliency Together) integrates collaborative, youth-led mental health learning opportunities in local junior and senior high schools. YouthSMART knows that students are incredibly influential amongst their peers, within their schools, families, and communities. As such, YouthSMART values youth as peer contributors, actively involved in the programming and opportunities that directly impact their wellness, and works with SMART School Leaders to transform the culture of their school.

As part of a comprehensive, “whole-school” approach to student wellness, SMART Schools embrace the key pillars of YouthSMART – support, mental health, resiliency, and togetherness. Motivated, energetic student leadership teams are championed by YouthSMART, their administration, and designated teachers to collaboratively contribute to the overall climate of mental health within their school community. SMART School Leader students and their designated teachers work together to execute ongoing, school-wide mental health awareness activities throughout the year.

Each year, YouthSMART kicks off with the YouthSMART Youth Summit in October. The Summit is free of costs, but in order to participate and become a SMART School, there must be a commitment to develop and implement a student-led action plan, read occasional electronic newsletters from YouthSMART and respond to three brief seasonal (fall, winter, spring) progress report emails.

SMART Schools will also have access to an exclusive menu of learning opportunities, not available to other schools. This includes Stress Management and Healthy Coping, Mental Health Awareness, Skills for Being There, Suicide Prevention, Community Helpers, as well as supports for teachers and supports for families.

CMHA Calgary accepts a new cohort of SMART Schools each fall. For more information on attending the YouthSMART Summit and becoming a SMART School, please contact info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

To download our latest YouthSMART Initiative toolkit, click here. This is available for download for anyone worldwide.

CMHA Calgary still offers our Suicide Prevention sessions to any local junior or senior high school or community group. This workshop provides a compassionate and informative discussion around suicide as it seeks to dispel myths, outline warning signs and protective factors, and connect youth to professional resources. (45-90 minute workshop, typically designed to fit one class period.)

To book a Suicide Prevention session, contact education@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. Please note, these sessions book up quickly and far in advanced. We advise booking at least 12 weeks prior to your preferred date.

CMHA Calgary’s Discovery College offers a variety of courses to help young people recognize and develop their own resourcefulness and awareness in order to support their wellness and/or recovery journey. Discovery College is a youth adaptation of CMHA Calgary’s popular Recovery College, which features a variety of courses for individuals, youth, and families. Discovery College courses are co-developed and co-delivered in partnership with our peer supporters, who are experts by experience. Courses can be delivered to schools and community, or are available at various community locations. (Courses typically consist of between 1-4 and weekly sessions, offered in 2 hour learning blocks.)

For more information, or to book Discovery College Courses, please contact info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca

Adult Mental Health Education sessions work to break through the stigma related to mental illness and promote mental health and wellness.

Sessions are developed and delivered by qualified educators and are offered in an interactive format with accompanying community contact information.

Sessions are available to adult-based educational institutions, community organizations and workplaces. Reduced fees are available for non-profit groups.

For further information on topics offered, fees, or to book a session please contact us at info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

For further information on fees or to book a session please contact us at 403-297-1722 or email education@cmha.calgary.ab.ca. Please note, these sessions book up quickly and far in advanced. We advise booking at least 12 weeks prior to your preferred date.

The Community Helpers training follows a peer support model and contributes to positive mental health within schools, community groups, corporations and agencies. The training frames its peer model with the understanding that every school or community has natural helpers willing to support friends in times of need. Offered in partnership with Alberta Health Services, the training uses a variety of engagement styles such as art, group work, digital videos, mini-lectures and role-play. At the end of training students are able to build mental health equity in their school or community by understanding common mental health language, identifying levels of concern, resolving conflict through the Helping Skill, connecting to helping resources and professionals, and the practice of appropriate self-care techniques. (3-10 hours of training, depending on modules selected.)

For more information, or to book the Community Helpers program, please contact community.helpers@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.