Calgary Counselling Centre is a registered charitable organization committed to providing compassionate, professional, and affordable counselling services to Calgarians.
The past few years have produced an unparalleled mental health “perfect storm.” Last year we served twice as many clients as before the pandemic, and across all client ages. From 2019 to 2021, total counselling sessions have nearly doubled, from 22,531 to 43,221. For those already economically vulnerable, the past few years and now with high inflation and living costs, things have been even more difficult. From January to June 2022, we had more clients (of all ages) who required 90% to 100% of their counselling fees subsidized than any other client segment. In other words, these clients paid $10 or less per session.
In 2022, 53% (more than half) of our clients who attended over 21,700 counselling sessions were individuals, couples and families who required assistance with their counselling fees, no one was turned away. Over the next year the Centre is celebrating its 60th anniversary and remains committed to providing barrier-free access to services and as such does not have a waitlist; ensuring those who need help can access it, regardless of their ability to pay.
This milestone year we have an extraordinary opportunity to double your impact with the generous support of the Auxilium Foundation, who will match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, until December 31.
With your gift to Calgary Counselling Centre you will help us meet the growing need for counselling services. Uncertainty in the economy, political divisions, and global conflict are having a negative effect on the mental health of people in our community. You can help.
Have you ever cried so hard you could hardly breathe? So hard that you started shaking. So hard that you became desperate to make it stop, even if it meant hurting yourself? Hurting yourself because the pain and sadness is too much, and you want to make it stop? If you have, then you’re not alone. And neither was I; but I didn’t know it at the time. My name is Mia and this is my story.
With the alarm clock grasped firmly in my hand, I struck it against the side of my head. The pain was sharp and strong. But it was a brief distraction. A distraction from the heartache and pain that I had been living with for the past few years. The heartache of feeling worthless. My dad burst into the room, hearing my cries from the hallway. He saw the damage of what I had just done. I saw the fear and sadness in his face. It was at this moment I knew that something had to change.
The thoughts and feelings started in high school. It got really bad at the end of twelfth grade. I was feeling very lonely and there was mounting pressure with university approaching fast. I met with a guidance counsellor a few times but nothing seemed to change. The thoughts continued to weigh me down.
No one wants me. Nobody cares about me. There’s no point to being here. These were the thoughts that constantly ran through my head. The thoughts that kept me in bed with no motivation. I felt exhausted and hopeless.
Looking back, I am very grateful that I didn’t let those thoughts defeat me. I trudged on even though it was hard, and I made an attempt to overcome the negative thoughts.
I started university and the thoughts and feelings came along with me. After a few sessions with a counsellor at the university, she recommended I check out Calgary Counselling Centre. I met a counsellor that was a great fit. I finally felt a positive connection with her and she thought I would benefit from a group counselling so she put me in one of their group counselling where I finally felt like I found the help that I really needed.
The others in that group helped me realize that I’m not alone, and that my feelings are valid I felt like I was being heard. It was so refreshing to be with a group of people who had thought and felt the same things that I had. Working with the group facilitators gave me many tools to help with self-defeating thoughts. I still struggle with them sometimes, but now I’m able to deal with them a bit more comfortably. That group was incredibly important in my life.
The thoughts may never fully go away. I might always have a little self-doubt. But I have hope. I know that I’m worth the effort. I know that I’m not alone.
Through the Responsible Choices for Men group program, Dale learned to change his behaviour and navigate his emotions in a healthier way.
Watch Dale’s story of transformation.
Natalie is a mom and entrepreneur in Calgary. Natalie had been struggling with depression and the trauma of being sexually assaulted when she was a child. It had gotten to the point where she wasn’t eating or sleeping. She knew she needed help.
Watch Natalie’s story and learn how counselling changed her life.
Since we opened our doors in 1962, we’ve been driven by the purpose to provide the best counselling treatment possible. Not just the best on our community, or our country, but the best you could get anywhere. By “best” we mean the highest outcomes for our clients. And now, not only can we say we provide the best outcomes for our clients, but we can prove it too.
For the past 15 years, Calgary Counselling Centre has been employing and refining a revolutionary form of practice that is improving mental health outcomes in an unparalleled way. We carefully track how our clients are doing through the counselling process. Counsellors and clients are able to see the client’s progress from session-to-session, and adjust treatment if necessary. This is called Feedback Informed Treatment and it has helped us consistently exceed published benchmarks in our industry.
At Calgary Counselling Centre we help people of all ages – individuals, couples, parents, families, and youth – through counselling and group programs in such areas as depression, domestic abuse, relationships, children and youth mental health, eating disorders amongst others.
We offer sliding-scale payments, meaning our clients pay what they can. No one is turned away.
We also ensure no wait lists, so Calgarians can get the help they need, when they need it.
Our highly-trained team of psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists provide client-focused, leading-edge counselling. We monitor our client’s progress meticulously, because every session counts, and we adjust treatment as needed to get the best results.
We’re also a leading research and training organization in Canada. Through the Haskayne Learning Centre, we train future counsellors to ensure our community will always have the very best counsellors available. Due to our outstanding results we are also helping other organizations, local and international, who seek our guidance on how they too can improve counselling. We open our doors and teach the importance of the use of Feedback Informed Treatment in counselling and just how to best use this tool.
Counselling: Our leading-edge counselling monitors the progress of our clients, we call it Feedback Informed Treatment or FIT for short. The way it works is that before each session, clients fill out a questionnaire.
Why do we make our clients fill out questionnaires at every session and why we dedicate the time to analyze and monitor these questionnaire responses? For the same reason your physician monitors your vital signs. Think of FIT as your emotional vital signs. FIT allows us to see where you are and ensuring your treatment is working or adjusting it if need be.
Along with individual and couples counselling, our group counselling provides a safe environment for our clients to take a journey towards healing with others who are going through similar circumstances. We offer group programs in the areas of depression, domestic abuse, self-esteem relationships, child and youth, and eating disorders.
Training and Education: We’ve been educating students since we opened in 1962 and over the decades we’ve become recognized as a national leader for professional training in psychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy. Our training program (Haskayne Learning Centre) is the largest in Western Canada and our students have gone on to practice in hundreds of communities across North America and the globe.
Research: We believe research is pivotal for effective counselling treatment. To that end we have an in-house research department that provides our counsellors with the tools and information they need to get the best results for our clients. We conduct research in many different areas and all research data is used to better inform and help improve the effectiveness of our treatments.
Community: We exist to help our community and so we seek and welcome community collaborations and partnerships. We build relationships and constantly seek to understand the needs of Calgarians so we can make sure we provide the services they need. When we can add value and help, you can count on us.
When you give generously, you have an immediate impact. Consider this:
$35 can provide an at-risk adolescent with the resources to build self-esteem.
$250 can provide critical counselling sessions for a family in crisis.
$1,000 can help a person who has lost all hope overcome the crippling effects of depression.
You can donate by:
Your time and talent is just as valuable as a donation. We have lots of ways you can help. Volunteer at our intake call centre and be the supportive first contact for those seeking help, assist with filing and organizing records, help with events and so much more. Email our Volunteer Coordinator or call 403.265.4980.
Host a third-party event
We welcome and support individuals and groups who wish to help raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Centre, and the clients we serve. Email our Fund Development team or call 403.691.5986
Share your story
Stories are incredibly powerful. Sharing your story can help someone else who may be going through a similar experience. Showing someone that may be struggling that there are others who have felt the same and have changed their lives can give them hope and the strength to reach out for help. As a community we can pick each other up, and thrive together. Send your written or video stories to [email protected].
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