Calgary, AB,

The City of Calgary announces first $3 million in funding for Mental Health and Addictions programs

The City of Calgary congratulates 19 successful Calgary non-profits confirmed to receive $3 million in one-time funding as part of the $25 million community action strategy to tackle mental health and addiction.

Registered non-profit organizations operating in Calgary were invited to apply for funding in October 2018. The City sought applications for programs aimed at promotion, early intervention and targeted intervention as it relates to mental health and addiction. In all, 62 applications were received requesting over $12 million. Applications were assessed by members of City Administration, with input from other funding organizations, including Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Police Service, The Calgary Foundation, United Way and The Calgary Homeless Foundation.

Funding is awarded to the following successful recipients offering programs aimed at enhancing the social well-being of Calgarians in support of efforts to be a healthy, equitable and inclusive city:

Alexandra Community Health Centre

  • Youth Mental Health and Addictions Integration: This program provides an integrated support to youth aged 12 to 24 years to prevent serious mental health and addictions issues and concurrent problems in adulthood.

Autism Calgary Association

  • Telling Their Stories: This program provides support for individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder through one-on-one support.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Calgary and Area

  • Mentoring for Mental Health: This program supports children and youth at risk of, or who are currently experiencing poor mental health through mentorship.

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

  • Centre for Refugee Resilience Family Therapy: This program provides counselling and case management for refugee families through a client-centred and culturally-responsive approach.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Society

  • Supports for Immigrants and Refugees with Mental Health and Addiction Issues: This program encourages help-seeking behaviour among immigrant women and their families, and connects them to community resources.

Calgary Sexual Health Centre Society

  • LGBTQ Counselling and Support: This program addresses the immediate and longer term challenges faced by LGBTQ community members through counselling and natural support development.

Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region

  • Increasing Social Connections: This program provides an integrated mental health and substance use support and strengthens community-based mental health solutions for individuals and families.

Carya Society of Calgary

  • Act Out: This is a skill-development program for grade 8 students which also bridges them to Carya's continuum of support for youth and families.

Closer to Home Community Services Society

  • Community Connections - Mental Health and Well-being: This program provides support to families by increasing their awareness of resources, social-emotional coping skills and social supports that mitigate mental health issues.

Distress Centre Calgary

  • Enhancing Online Crisis Support: This is an online free, crisis intervention services to empower community members to make independent choices that enhance their quality of life.

Hull Services

  • Bridging the Gap: This program provides services to young adults who are experiencing mental health concerns, issues with well-being, and barriers to service by helping them access services, learn new skills and strengthen their support network.

Punjabi Community Health Services Calgary Society

  • Mental Health and Addiction Prevention Outreach for South Asian Community: This program provides members of the Punjabi community increased awareness around mental health conditions, symptoms, coping strategies, and resources.

Society de la petite enfance et de la famille du sud de l’Alberta

  • Supporting Mental Health in French: This program provides support to Francophone families through workshops and activities that promote awareness of mental health issues.

Wood’s Homes

  • Exit Youth Hub and Outreach Addictions Specialist: This program provides immediate on-site intervention, community prevention and addictions support to youth with vulnerabilities.

Funding is awarded to the following successful recipients offering programs aimed at reducing harm to Calgarians in support of being a healthy and safe city for all:

Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary

  • First Contacts: Indigenous Outreach Program at the Iitaohkanitsini'kotsiio'p Hub: This program provides assistance to Indigenous people experiencing opioid and substance abuse crises via Indigenous Hub at SORCe.

McMan Youth, Family and Community Services

  • Journeys - Addiction Supports for Women: This program will provide integrated supports to pregnant or parenting women with addictions to reduce risk factors.

RESET Society of Calgary

  • Exploitation Intervention & Transition (EXIT) Program: This program will support women to exit sexual exploitation and/or sex trafficking and provide safety to their children.

Funding is awarded to the following successful recipients offering programs aimed at reducing crime to support efforts to ensure Calgary is a city of safe and inspiring neighbourhoods:

Calgary Alpha House Society

  • Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership 2.0 (DOAP 2.0): This is a partnership with the Calgary Downtown Association to support people on Stephen Avenue and East Village who require access to medical, shelter, housing and addiction services.

Calgary Drug Treatment Court Society

  • CDTC Opioid Crisis Response Project: This program provides assistance to offenders with addictions to end the cycle of crime, active addiction and incarceration in their lives.

“Calgary has a long history of helping citizens by building their skills and resiliency to overcome challenges related to mental health and addiction issues, but there is still a very real need in the community for us to do more,” says Melanie Hulsker, Director, Calgary Neighbourhoods. “On Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019, The City is honoured to announce $3 million in funding for 19 community partners with programs designed to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and addiction issues and connect citizens with the help they need to recover.”

“This funding will make a difference for regular Calgarians as we continue our work building Calgary’s first community-wide mental health and addiction strategy, says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We know we can’t tackle these issues alone. It is going to take a huge collective effort to address the root causes of social disorder – addictions and mental health being at the core. This is at the heart of why we are creating a long-term strategy where we will collaborate with all our partners in this complex system to put the citizen at the centre of our work.”

The City of Calgary is convening community partners to develop a mental health and addictions strategy for the next five years (2019 to 2023). Council has earmarked up to $25 million for this priority, with $15 million provided to the Prevention Investment Framework through funding, and $10 million to support the development and implementation of the Mental Health and Addiction Strategy.

For more information on The City’s Mental Health and Addiction strategy, visit