Lack of support in the area of mental illness and addiction have been a growing concern for many years. With the arrival of COVID-19 many experts are concerned about an 'echo pandemic' of mental health challenges.
From our research over the last year we have identified three areas we believe will make a signficant postive change in the mental health and wellness of all Albertans.
For free online training on various mental health concerns including Trauma Informed Care, Grief, Crisis Intervention and more please view our webinars under the "Get Involved - Training Resources" page.
1) Trauma-informed Practice: Creating a caring culture in all Public Services
The Calgary Alliance for the Common Good is a member of the Trauma Informed Care Collective which has just released this Trauma Tool Kit to assist individuals and organizations in coping with the collective trauma of the pandemic.
In addition, this organiziation of 22 agencies in Calgary continues to work towards it's long term call on the provincial government to implement trauma-informed practices across all government agencies including schools. Public service employees need to recognize the impact of trauma and how to respond appropriately. Front line workers are crucial to getting the right resources to people in need at the right time. Learn more about Trauma-Informed Care.
2) Mobile Response Teams: 24 hour/7 day support for Calgarians
Increase the Mobile Response Team (MRT) and Police and Crisis Team (PACT) capacity, to provide outreach services 24/7 (instead of current 9:30am-9:30pm) in the Calgary area because families need support around the clock and especially late into the night. In addition, by increasing the availabity of these teams it should reduce costly emergency room visits that occur because no other help is available. Learn more.
3) Turning the Tide on Mental Health in One Generation:
Children are experiencing the dramatic upheaval and uncertainty of our world today. Every child will need mental health 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, and developing mental health strategies in each school, staff, family and our children will receive the vital support training in mental wellness 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. To learn more and support this campaign please visit COVID-19 - Turning the Tide.
The Mental Health Research Action Team meets together on the first Monday of every month except for when the first Monday falls on a holiday, in which case the meeting will be the second Monday. To join them or to learn more please email [email protected].
Online Mental Health Training Resources
As our team discovers good online training opportunities for people to develop their mental health understanding and skills we will post them below. If you find good resources to share please email [email protected]
- Trauma-Informed Care modules available through AHS here: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/page15526.aspx
- AHS has a public SPRAM (Suicide Prevention Risk Assessment Management) course that can be taken here: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/page14579.aspx
- ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) available here: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/workshop/asist/
- The online Living Works Start program available here: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/workshop/start/
- Dr. Julia Rucklidge's (free) course on Mental Health and Nutrition can be found on EdX.org and is provided by the University of Canterbury. You can enroll in this course for free (no credit) here: https://www.edx.org/course/mental-health-and-nutrition
- Local professor at the Cumming School of Medicine (University of Calgary) Dr. Bonnie Kaplan co-wrote a book with Dr. Julia Rucklidge on the subject of "The Better Brain," and it speaks to the issues of overcoming anxiety, combatting depression, and the influence of nutrition on stress. Their mailing list and content can be view here: https://thebetterbrainbook.com/
We would like to thank the Calgary Foundation for their support of this work.