December 2017
  • CMHA: Tell me about yourself and your position at CMHA Calgary?

Jackie and Cassie: We are the Community Recreation Coordinators of the Continuing Connections program, a branch of Alberta Heath Service’s Applied Behaviour Collaboration (ABC) team. We work as part of a team of mental health clinicians, educators, and psychiatric nurses. Both of us have a background in therapeutic recreation and are registered provincially or nationally certified professionals. Neither of us are native to Calgary with Cassie being from Vancouver and Jackie from Ontario but both of us have come to know many resources and services around Calgary that we utilize in our everyday work!

Lee Ann and Dara: I’m a Recreation Coordinator with CMHA. I have worked with CMHA for nearly 5 years. Calgary has been my home for six years now.


  • CMHA: Describe an average day at CMHA Calgary?

Jackie and Cassie: Typically we work at each facility two days a week each where we may be working 1:1 with an individual, facilitating group programs or supporting clients in attending recreation programs of interest. In its simplest form, we use recreation and leisure as a method of building skills that assist in community involvement and recovery.

Lee Ann and Dara: My average day consists of answering telephone calls and emails from fellow Staff members and Clients, planning and researching activities that may encourage our Members, creating flyers and calendars that promote our recreation programs, going bowling, preparing for a crafting group, working with our Members to prepare them to attend an upcoming group, working on a bus outing, planning a special event such as our Holiday Party at the Holiday Inn…..and the list goes on.
"Imagine a place where connections begin. A place of belonging, where living with a mental illness is a shared life experience that opens up the opportunity to help others making that first brave step to living openly and authentically. That’s what I found when I first connected with the CMHA Calgary. After decades of hiding my mental health condition came the opportunity to help others. I realized that my experience was expertise! I was one of the first group of 36 to graduate from the School of Peer Support. Supported by community we were part of CMHA Calgary’s unique training program consisting of 120 hours of classroom learning and a paid internship where we could put our skills to use, supporting those making that first connection to CMHA.” – Cori’s Story

This success is proof that we’re stronger together. With your support we can expand and enhance our School of Peer Support, create hope, build community connections, and cultivate a sense of acceptance and belonging. 

We are currently recruiting people to sit on our Ride Don’t Hide Steering Committee. The Ride Don’t Hide Steering Committee ensures the development of an engaging, safe and community bike ride event suitable for all Calgarians. The goal of Ride Don’t Hide is to initiate dialogue in the community, reduce stigma and promote mental wellness through a public event that openly discusses mental health in a safe and fun environment. The goal is to also increase CMHA – Calgary’s profile in the community and raise funds for our vital programs and services.

We believe that everyone can learn something to support themselves or someone else’s progress on their recovery journey.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to learn together, share experiences and knowledge and most importantly, participate. Not as a patient, client, caregiver or member of staff, but simply a student – no previous education required! Through everyone learning together with only one shared label of ‘student’, we believe that we can begin to break down the barriers and stigma that exist, and support you whatever your background, to benefit from the richness of experience.

At Recovery College we use an educational-based approach to help people recognize and develop their own resourcefulness and awareness in order to become experts in their own self-care, make informed choices and do the things that they want to do in life.
Despite all these experiences and difficulties, I have always been a great dreamer. I have always been passionate about nature and the outdoors. My dream and project is to achieve the ascent of the seven summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. My partners and I are currently planning to climb Mt Denali in Alaska in June 2018. It is the highest peak in North America with an altitude of 20,310 feet (6190M). Read More
Thank You to our Community Partners!
Phung and Mosimann, an evening host with FM radio station X92.9, are the stars of the day at Genesis Centre, as kids from 36 schools participate in the third annual Youth Mental Health Summit. The Canadian Mental Health Association-Calgary’s YouthSmart program and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre are hosting the event. Read More.

“For us, it’s impossible to quantify how powerful this is, to have someone do something so heartfelt with their individual story,” Pavelich said. “High-profile events create a space for people to feel comfortable to share and [grants them] permission to reach out.” Read More.

Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about, but one Calgary man is determined to spark a conversation after he lost his brother-in-law two years ago. Clym Atkin is holding a charity tailgate party at the Western Final on Sunday to help shed the stigma and Huddle Up for Suicide Prevention. Read More.
The SOS team works with clients from a harm reduction approach and meets their clients where they are at in a non-judgmental supportive environment. They listen to clients and come up with a care plan as how to overcome challenges they are experiencing. To help assist these clients, CMHA Calgary and the SOS team are looking for a number of items. Read More
On the evening of April 9, 2015, the world I known would change forever. I had come from work expecting to spend some time with my mother when I uncovered the fact that my mother had decided to take her life and leave the world she had known. Read More
On Nov. 9, 2017, Sean McCann celebrated six years of sobriety and released a powerful music video of his song “Take Off My Armour” from his new album “There’s a Place”. Watch The Video.
Our Peer School delivered 164 hours of mentorship. This includes 70 classroom hours over the course of four months instilling Peer competencies in hope, boundaries, resilience and connection as well as 50 internship hours of paid work placements. Read More