We Need Your Support This Holiday Season
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, masks and the importance of hand hygiene. It has been challenging to be without many of those whom we love, however, our resiliency has shown there are different ways to stay connected with those closest to us.
And while there has been a heavy focus on our physical health, we also need to be very concerned about our mental health. Not only our own mental health, but that of our family, friends, co-workers, and communities.
During the pandemic, Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region has continued to provide support for our community. However, with distancing requirements and new regulations set out by
the government, the delivery of each and every one of our programs was changed.
Our Supportive Living homes saw a drastic increase in the protocols surrounding their work including the increase in sanitization requirements, changes to meal preparations and decreased
day-to-day foot traffic allowed through each of our homes.
Our Welcome Centre, Recovery College and Counselling, all closed down to in-person delivery for a number of months. We were able to adjust these programs to offer services virtually over the phone, through email and over Zoom within a few short weeks.
Our Educational Sessions for both workplaces and schools have shifted delivery methods for the upcoming year. We have seen an increase in demand for educational sessions from organizations, with our Educators doing 28 presentations for more than 3,200 people, and schools who are reaching out to educate their employees and students about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
I was so excited to join CMHA Calgary back in July as the new Executive Director, and I was incredibly impressed with how the staff and organization swiftly responded to the changing environment and were able to pivot services to continue supporting our community. Over the past six months, CMHA Calgary quickly and strategically addressed the pandemic head-on to keep everyone connected safely.
We have connected with 993 new people, who felt like they needed to support their mental health or a loved one’s
mental health during this time, along with those we were supporting previously.
We truly have the best staff who care deeply and are extremely passionate about the work we do. More than ever, our pillars of hope, connection and belonging are guiding our response, as demand for our services continues to rise.
As the holiday season ends and winter continues to keep us indoors, we know that more people will experience feelings of loneliness and isolation with being asked to physically distance, keep our cohorts small, and even in some situations, we will not able to hug our loved ones on a regular basis as we once did.
We may be experiencing feelings of grief and loss, mourning the lives we once had, being able to enjoy a night out without having to wear a face mask, go to a large gathering of people at a concert or sporting event, or even just having a shared meal with family and friends at our home.
This Is Why We Need Your Help Now, More Than Ever Before
Everyone’s mental health will continue to be affected, and CMHA Calgary wants to be able to continue to provide and expand our services for the ever-changing needs we are seeing during these unprecedented times.
We want to be able to connect with you when you need it most— whether it’s over the phone or by email with a Peer Supporter or Counsellor, through a small in-person Recovery College class, or in one of our Workplace or School Educational Sessions.
It may look different, and we may have to continue adapting how we offer our services, but we are here to be that connection you need.
We thank those in advance who are able to support CMHA Calgary during these difficult times. We recognize that many are facing financial difficulties, and cannot donate today—that’s okay. We already know you are connected to the work and when the time is right you will be there for us.
What we do ask of you though is to reach out to your friends and family maybe someone you haven’t connected with in a while, and ask how are they really doing. Talk to them, and if they need additional help, let them know CMHA Calgary is here. We all could use a bit more connection and support during this time.
Thank you for supporting mental health programming in Calgary. Click here to donate.
Our Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at email@example.com. Counselling programs for Suicide Bereavement and Family Support are also still available through phone at 403-297-1708, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online through Community Connect YYC.