2020 will go down in history as a year when the world as we know it completely changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us about physical distancing, the importance of hand hygiene and masks, and has reminded us that while we cannot be with many of those we love, we can still be connected and show that love in so many different ways.
That is how we feel about the work we do at CMHA Calgary. While we cannot be physically in the Welcome Centre, meeting with people face-to-face in our counselling rooms or in a classroom at the Recovery College, we have pivoted and are offering all of these services through virtual platforms. We can see, listen and care for people as they reach out for support with their mental health. More than ever our pillars of hope, connection and belonging are guiding our response, and demand for our services is rising.
All of our fundraisers planned from March through September have been cancelled or modified including our biggest annual fundraiser, Ride Don’t Hide. We will offer a virtual option called Energize Don’t Hide from June 21 to September 21, 2020, and encourage people to be active however they choose. If you wish to participate have a look here and watch our social media for updates.
All in all, the events cancelled mean a loss of between $320,000 to $350,000 needed to keep our programs and services running. Today, on #GivingTuesdayNow and this being Mental Health Week, we are reaching out to our supporters. We need your help.
We are calling on you, our supporters, to be a part of CMHA Calgary’s 2020 Challenge. We want to see 2020 donors support CMHA Calgary during this time of need. Everyone’s mental health will be affected during this time, and we want to be here to support all Calgarians with our continued services.
We are encouraging you to donate in a variety of ways including:
- Sign up to be a monthly donor through direct withdrawal
- Contribute a one-time donation
- Encourage a friend or family member to donate
- SkipTheDepot – donate your bottles
- Host a virtual third party event with a donation (Movie nights from your living room, stationary bike challenges, dinner parties via Zoom or FaceTime)
- Register for Energize Don’t Hide for $20.00 and sharing and encouraging others
We recognize that you may be facing challenges with your mental health and/or your finances. If you cannot donate today, that’s okay. We already know you are connected to our work and when the time is right you will be there for us. Instead, let us be there for YOU. If you need support with your mental health you can connect with a Peer Supporter from Monday to Friday through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 403-297-1402.
We are offering virtual Recovery College classes for those needing to connect socially and you can register on our website. And our counselling staff is offering virtual sessions and continuing with the very important grief and loss work, especially for those who have lost someone to suicide. You can ask about support by emailing email@example.com.
One of the best ways you can support CMHA Calgary is by sharing with others the programs and services we offer. If you are active on any social media platforms please follow us and share our posts so that others can find the support that they need, or perhaps offer us some support during these extraordinary times.
Thank you for being a champion for CMHA Calgary and your ongoing support. Thank you for taking care of each other and for understanding how important our continued work reducing stigma around mental health and substance use is. Thank you and please take of yourselves, your friends and families and your neighbours. We are all in this together.