Carya Society of Calgary

we serve these populations

  • aging population
  • children and youth
  • women

we need help with:

  • mental health
carya, formerly Calgary Family Services, has deep roots in the City of Calgary. Since 1910, carya has been cultivated and shaped by the evolving needs of our community.

Today, as one of Calgary’s largest social impact agencies, carya supports thousands of community members through comprehensive low-or no-cost programs and services across the city. Each year, carya provides critical programs and services to thousands of Calgarians where they need us most.

Our Vision: Strong families and communities to reach their potential
Our Mission: Engaging individuals, families and communities to reach their potential.

Focus Areas: Carya’s programs and services focus on four main interconnected pillars:

  1. Mental Health 
    Through best-practice counselling programs and positive psychology groups, carya works to address the mental health needs of individuals in the Calgary community, and to improve mental health and resiliency.
  2. Social Connectoin
    From multiple locations across Calgary, carya creates optimal conditions for connection by providing registered, drop-in, and community-led programs and initiatives that reduce social isolation and increase a sense of belonging.
  3. Family Functioning
    By connecting families with evidence-based therapies and counselling programs, along with community-based opportunities for self-development, carya builds confidence and improves cohesion and functionality which strengthens the entire family.
  4. Supports for Seniors/Living Conditions
    From facilitating access to resources to enhancing financial literacy, carya walks alongside vulnerable individuals as they navigate systems and services to enhance their living conditions and quality of life.
The Need

Now more than ever, Calgarians are facing a multitude of challenges that impact their quality of life and mental well-being. External stressors, particularly in a post-pandemic world, are leaving community members with significantly increased levels of stress, depression, and anxiety while having limited access to affordable mental health resources.

carya is seeking $1.5 million to strengthen mental health and counselling services to meet the emergent needs of an additional 2,500 individuals by 2025.

In 2022, carya’s team of experts provided over 18,500 counselling sessions to nearly 2,800 Calgarians in need with data indicating significant improvement in mental well-being among participants. However, there are many more people waiting to access carya’s services. carya is facing increased demand and increased complexity of needs while at the same time, facing stagnant or decreased government funding. This means that wait times to access these critical services continue to grow.
By working with individuals and families from various locations across the city, including virtual sessions, carya works to reduce barriers and provides affordable mental health supports when and where community members need them.

Programs You Can Make Possible

1. Counselling Services

Through evidence-based models for managing conflict, depression, anxiety, and more, carya looks for strengths in clients and approaches every situation without blame or judgment. carya strives to provide a variety of counselling programs and services to meet the evolving needs of individuals, families, and older adults in the community. Where possible, carya may even be able to pair a multi-lingual counsellor with individuals who are English Language Learners, conducting sessions in the individual’s or family’s preferred language.

  • carya’s Family Counselling programs boast outstanding success in improving family cohesion, the closeness of the family unit, and the emotional connections among members.
  • Functional Family Therapy is a structured program for families of children and youth who are dealing with complex problems like delinquency, mental health concerns, criminal involvement, substance abuse and violence. Research shows that not only did family functioning and youth mental health improved, behaviours associated with delinquency and criminal involvement decreased.
  • Older Adult Counselling clients saw a significant increase in social inclusion and received more practical assistance in their home lives, allowing them to “age in place” in their communities.

2. Group Programs

Beyond formal counselling services, carya offers a variety of group programs that focus on providing support in areas such as grief and loss, anxiety management, unpacking emotions, and more. These programs focus on building resiliency, mitigating mental health crises, and enhancing mental well-being.

More than 1 in 2 people who are struggling with their mental health are not getting the help they need. You can change that.

With your investment, carya will be there for Calgarians when and where they need it most. Your support will help to embed key prevention programs to build resilience and provide comprehensive mental health and counselling services for individuals and families in your community.

To learn more about carya‘s impact on the community, visit the Our Impact page on our website.


Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Tiffany Stevenson

Director of Social Investments



More Info

Charity Number: #118823475RR0001

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Financial Statements / Annual Reports

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