The floods of 2013 showed Mother Nature at her worst, but our community response showed humanity at its best. Feelings of hopelessness were combated with acts of extreme compassion, sincere kindness and the strongest sense of coming together. Our city became one. And we, at the Centre, feel very fortunate to have supported many people in need.
With over 50 years experience, we were able to swiftly respond when our community needed us the most and we believe this experience only strengthened us for what the future holds. This past year our Centre had the opportunity to be a part of many exciting activities in our community, including: presentations and interviews on mental health and well-being, attendance at resource fairs, members on community committees, celebrated amazing milestones, and most importantly, gave back.
Below are some of our significant milestones from 2013:
I just became so passionate after my first day of volunteering at the Centre; you just realize everyone is going through something."– Violet, Volunteer
Calgary Counselling Centre played an integral role in providing flood assistance to Calgary and surrounding areas. We quickly adapted our services to provide online and phone counselling sessions to ensure we were accessible. The waters have receded since, but many are still struggling with the aftermath. We are committed to continuing to provide support to those affected by the flood.
"The Centre received 692 requests for service in July, compared to 608 in 2012," says Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Counselling Centre. "This is a 14 per cent increase compared to last year and the highest we have ever seen in July and in all of 2013."
The Centre was thrilled to celebrate 50 years of being a driving force in the community. The celebration was more than we could have ever expected. We were overjoyed and astounded to see so many come to our celebration. Our sincere thanks to all who made our 50th anniversary so incredibly special.
"For all of these decades Calgary Counselling Centre has displayed vision, commitment and a strong spirit of innovation," states Jackie Sieppert, Dean, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. "I view the Centre as a hub for research excellence."
The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Her Excellency Sharon Johnston on their trip to Calgary wanted to recognize organizations who gave back to their communities during the flood. Calgary Counselling Centre is extremely honored we were chosen as one of the organizations to visit. Her Excellency's visit to the Centre was an honour and a great highlight in 2013.
"Thank you for the work you do. It's truly amazing," said Her Excellency. "Organizations such as Calgary Counselling Centre make a significant difference in the lives of many. It is important we continue to reduce the stigma around mental health in order for more people seek support."