Calgary, AB,

Change Can’t Wait! – Second round of funding for mental health and addiction

Today, The City of Calgary, in partnership with community leaders, is announcing over $500,000.00 in funding for a second round of seeking new and innovative ideas to help with mental health and addiction. This round is focused on two issues; reducing stigma and strengthening community resiliency.

Change Can’t Wait! is a funding opportunity to find new solutions to help Calgarians struggling with these challenges. It’s part of the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction Strategy. The funding is open to anyone that has a great idea whether an individual, business, grassroots community group, non-profit, faith group or public institution.

“The approach we’re taking with Change Can’t Wait! is really summed up in the name. We are targeting fast pilot projects that will be implemented quickly, creating the data we need to address these growing issues,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We can’t let the fear of failure define our appetite to make a difference. I’m excited to see what the community puts forward to start helping Calgarians right away.”

Dr. Chris Eagle is the former president and CEO of both Alberta Health Services and the Calgary Health Trust and is the Chair of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He co-chairs the Stewardship Group for the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction.

“I’ve seen the impact of mental health and addiction issues first hand – both in my professional career and also in my personal life,” says Dr. Eagle, whose sister died of suicide in early 2019. “I know we can be better in how we help we support each other with these issues. And I know there are great ideas out there that a bit of money could help kick-start.”

Community funders are generously contributing to Change Can’t Wait! fast pilot projects — adding a combined $275,000.00 to the $1 million earmarked by The City. These organizations, together with The City, form the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction Community Investment Table. They are:

  • Calgary Foundation
  • Calgary Health Trust
  • Hunter Family Foundation
  • United Way of Calgary and Area
  • Viewpoint Foundation

After announcing $706,769.00 in funding awarded in round one of Change Can’t Wait!, there is now over $500,000 available for a second round to test great ideas that will make real change, real fast.

If you think getting some money behind your idea could get it working in real life and demonstrate results within 120 days of receiving funding in September, we need you!

Ideas should be related to either: a) how to reduce stigma, or b) how to build community resiliency in the wake of COVID-19 to address mental health and addiction issues. Although we are focusing on these two problems, please feel free to share any idea you believe is important to test right now because Change Can’t Wait!

Visit to find out more and submit your idea.

Deadline to submit ideas is June 28, 2020.