December 21, 2020
In Calgary and surrounding areas, help is available through Alberta Health Services (AHS), various support organizations and those close to you. If you are in crisis, please connect with your healthcare professional or call 911 if it’s an emergency.
Please be aware of these other supports throughout AHS Calgary Zone:
AHS Addiction and Mental Health
- Access Mental Health, a non-urgent telephone service, is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all Calgary Zone residents. Program clinicians, who are familiar with both AHS and community-based programs, will explore options with callers and direct or refer them to the most appropriate local resource to meet their needs. All Calgary Zone residents can reach Access Mental Health toll-free at 1-844-943-1500. Non-urgent voicemail messages can be left after-hours and will be returned the next business day.
- If you need to speak to someone outside of community clinic hours, please call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction line at 1-866-332-2322. You can also call Health Link at 811 to find the service that’s right for you. Trained staff are available to offer support at those numbers 24/7.
- Several options are available within Calgary and the surrounding area that provide crisis support and/or counselling. They are listed on the Know Your Options brochure.
- An extensive list of support services and resources are available on the Help in Tough Times webpage at www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes. This includes Text4Hope, which offers free daily text messaging that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke. To subscribe, text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
- Online stress management workshops are available. Transform Your Stress: The Resilience Advantage – Strategies for Managing Stress in Challenging Times is a free AHS-facilitated online workshop. To learn more, visit www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Togetherall, available at www.ahs.ca/virtualmentalhealth, is a free online network that offers anonymous, peer-to-peer mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Clinical moderators monitor the platform to help keep members safe, protect anonymity, and direct users to available and appropriate free resources.
- While many of us only see our doctor for our physical health, having conversations about how we are coping is important to our overall well-being. If you are not connected to a doctor at this time, you can locate one at www.albertafindadoctor.ca.
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- CMHA offers a wide array of programs and services, as well as some online supports. For more information, you can contact the CMHA office directly (403-287-1700) or find it on Facebook.
Kids Help Phone and Crisis Text Line
- The Kids Help Phone is available to both young people and adults. To access support, call 1-800-668-6868 or visit its website at www.kidshelpphone.ca for more information and resources. The Kids Help Phone also offers crisis text support. Young people can access support by texting CONNECT to 686868.
- Adults can access support by texting 741741 to reach a crisis counsellor at Crisis Text Line. You can also visit www.crisistextline.org.
Friends and family
- We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to someone they trust. Talk to a family member, friend, or anyone you can be honest with to talk through your concerns. While public health restrictions can make us feel isolated, try having physically distanced visits outside, or reach out to someone by phone or video chat.
- If you notice people in your life who may be struggling, reach out to them. Offering support can include mentioning what you have noticed, listening to their concerns, and connecting them with some of the resources noted above. Starting a conversation does not require you to be a counsellor or an expert; just a caring person offering support and hope.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.