As an Alliance representing 30 faith-based, ethnic, union and educational organizations, CACG is deeply concerned by the prevailing situation regarding COVID-19 outbreak. This disease has affected every aspect of our lives, most notably the economic, social and psychological well-being of our communities. The overriding issue of fear of contagion or fear of being infected with the virus can be stressful and traumatic. We are continuing to listen and respond to the needs in our community. For further resources and information ...
We are actively recruiting for Block Captains and Community Helpers. Volunteer here.
We have created a working group to investigate basic income as a possible response to this pandemic. Learn more.
Programs and supports available locally, provincially and federally continues to change. We would like to recommend the ActionDignity's support page for up to date information on a variety of COVID related topics including additional language supports, transmission risks, mental health supports and government supports. ActionDignity's April 22nd update can be downloaded here. Information on domestic abuse can be downloaded here.
If you require assistance in navigating government programs such as the CErB program, EI or small business supports available during this time Momentum Calgary provides free Community Help Lines and Coaching Services. To learn more please visit their website.
The City of Calgary has created a webpage that has a variety of resources on how neighbours can help neighbours. This website can be found at: https://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/cema/Pages/COVID19-NeighboursHelpingNeighbours.aspx
Resources for Seniors:
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified issues that were already a struggle for many Calgary seniors: isolation, loneliness and concerns about mental health. Decreasing these challenges while being safe during the pandemic has presented new difficulties and we hope that simple measures like using the internet to connect with family and friends can buffer these challenges. This website offers relevant information for seniors and caregivers navigating isolation, loneliness and concerns around mental health in the midst of COVID19. To access the website please click here.
As the weather gets warmer and the need for yard and lawn maintenance surfaces for Calgary seniors, we have created a Resource List for Home and Yard maintenance for Calgary Seniors. Check it out below or download a PDF version here.
Turning the Tide: A Plan to champion mental health in our schools
Even before the pandemic, researchers were emphasizing the importance of mental health for the learning and development of every child. Students who experience positive mental health are resilient in the face of challenges, better able to learn, achieve greater success, and build healthy relationships. However, we are seeing far too many students emerge from the school system without these essential skills. It is estimated that up to twenty per cent of children and youth in Canada experience mental illness, and that only one in five children and youth who need mental health services receives them. Health experts tell us that close to seventy-five per cent of cases of adult mental illnesses have their origin in childhood.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an even greater need to address this issue. Children are experiencing the dramatic upheaval and uncertainty of our world today. Every child will need support when they return to the classroom. Now is the time to invest in the well-being of our children. By placing a full-time mental health professional in every elementary school, both staff and families will receive the vital support including trauma-informed care that they need to nurture healthy and vibrant minds. By investing now, we can change this crisis into an opportunity to turn the tide on mental health in a generation. Please see our frequently asked questions page for more information.
Contact your MLA and call for mental health support in elementary schools.
A sample letter can be download here to send to your MLA or you may sign our petition to the Alberta Government. Details on how to contact your MLA can be found here.
Our Statement on COVID-19
COVID-19 has a disastrous economic impact on our communities resulting from closures of businesses, service industry and others. Its social impact including cancellation of public gatherings, self-isolation, social distancing and changes in the way we meet and greet have exacerbated social isolation. Interrelated with the economic and social impacts are the psychological issues arising from layoffs, lack of income, social isolation, loneliness, and uncertainty about the future, all of which create threats to the wellbeing of our communities, including our mental health and well-being. In short COVID-19 has changed our way of life.
Additionally, we are concerned by the social stigma and discriminatory behaviours against people of certain ethnic groups as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus.
The Alliance fully acknowledges the steps taken by the federal, provincial and local authorities to contain the outbreak and to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 in our communities. We honour our health workers who are working to keep people safe and to save lives.
Call to Action
Given the current outbreak of COVID-19, the Calgary Alliance for Common Good calls for the following:
- Member organizations should keep their members informed about the epidemic, and dispel any myths or rumours about the disease with facts and evidence.
- Members organizations need to call for empathy, compassion and kindness, so ‘all of society’ is mobilized to combat COVID-19 and its impact.
- Member organizations should reach out to vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, through regular telephone check-ins, and provide social support.
- Member organizations should inform their members to fight social stigma as those infected with the virus have done nothing wrong and deserve our support.
- Member organizations should not refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases”, “victims”, “COVID-19 families” or the “diseased”. They are people who have “COVID-19”.
COVID-19 provides us an opportunity to implement ‘all of society’ approach. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity in combating the outbreak and its impact. In these stressful times, we should find and amplify positive stories that instill hope.