Change Can’t Wait! Call for ideas to help with mental health and addiction issues


Today, The City of Calgary, in partnership with its convened community leaders, is announcing $1 million in funding for new and innovative ideas to help Calgarians navigate and access the systems of care available in our city.

Thousands of Calgarians are affected by issues related to mental health and addictions every day. People need help, and many are falling through the cracks or getting lost between various systems of support. By coming forward with new ideas to access and navigate the important services and supports already available in our city, individuals and organizations will be building a roadmap for those who need care now. Change Can’t Wait!

“We have incredible systems of support and care available in our city,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “What we need is to test new ideas that will make sure that those who need our help don’t feel like they’re navigating a maze in order to access it. The City of Calgary is putting up $1 million to find, source, and test new systems to overcome that challenge. If you’re sitting out there with an idea that you think could help, please bring it forward. Change can’t wait.”

Karen Gosbee is the co-chair of a group of community leaders supporting the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction. She lost her husband, George Gosbee, to suicide in late 2017.

“I felt completely hopeless,” says Gosbee. “Our family was exhausted from dealing with the situation at home and I felt like we couldn’t navigate the system. I didn’t know what resources there were out there. We need better ways for people to access and navigate the help that’s out there.”

Change Can’t Wait! is an investment opportunity meant to find new solutions to help Calgarians struggling with mental health and addictions challenges navigate and access the services already available. It’s part of the Community Action on Mental Health and Addiction. Funding is available to quick test ideas that can demonstrate results within 120 days of receiving funding. Ideas should be ready to launch in May and report back on results in mid-September.

No idea is too small or too big. Some will be simple, complete solutions that can be implemented with minimal investments; other ideas will require more funding to move forward to that next step while showing results along the way.

Ideas are meant specifically to target issues of access and navigation for those facing problems with mental health and addiction.

The deadline for ideas is Feb. 16, 2020.

Visit to find out more and submit an idea.