Mental Health

Good mental health helps us enjoy our life and the people in it.

Positive mental health and well-being helps people live their lives to the fullest. But due to the pandemic, Calgarians are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety, and many are struggling, particularly those in lower income groups and/or who experienced mental health problems pre-pandemic. Common barriers, like poverty, social isolation, stigma, and a lack of easily accessible services hold people back from getting the support they need. Positive emotional development in childhood is crucial to laying a good foundation for positive mental health and emotional stability as an adult.

Providing programs and services that support good mental health is one of our critical community needs. While Alberta Health Services provides critical medical responses to mental health issues, United Way works with partner agencies on community-based initiatives that support mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention. Together, we’re creating more inclusive communities and helping those affected by mental health issues access the supports they need before the issues become deep-rooted and more difficult to address.

In December 2021, Distress Centre Calgary experienced an 8% increase in suicide-related contacts compared to December 2020. (Source: Distress Centre Calgary, 2021)

In a survey conducted in December 2021, 43% of Albertans reported a deterioration in their mental health since the start of the pandemic. (Source: Canadian Mental Health Association. (2022). A summary of key findings – round 4: Assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health.)

70 per cent of adults with a mental illness say their symptoms first emerged during childhood and adolescence, yet only 1 in 5 children who needs mental health support receives it. (Source: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2005)

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