On March 22, 2021, Calgary city council endorsed Calgary’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy. The first of its kind in Canada, the strategy’s goal is to create hope, strengthen support, and improve the quality of life for people, families, and communities living with mental health issues and addictions. Developed in collaboration with a stewardship group comprised of local leaders and community members with lived experience, the strategy aims to make mental health resources more accessible for Calgarians. This will be achieved through three themes or action areas: being well, getting help and staying safe—a right and expectation for every Calgarian.

“We know that prevention and early intervention builds individual and collective capacity, which helps people live to their fullest potential in any context or situation, enriching our community as a whole,” said Karen Young, president and CEO at United Way of Calgary and Area, and member of the stewardship group. “We can instill hope for every single one of us to recover and live a life of dignity.”

Calgary city council first approved the concept for the action plan with a $25 million commitment in 2018. From 2019 to 2021, The City invested $11 million in various programs, services, and initiatives. The remaining $14 million has been earmarked for the strategy and action plan to strengthen existing crisis supports, coordinate and sustain mental health programs, and establish a coordinated network of services to better serve Calgarians in need of support. To learn more about the strategy, and the steps you can take to make a difference for those affected by mental health and addictions issues, please visit: Calgary’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy: A community of connections.