When Calgary Counselling Centre began in 1962, we occupied the basement of the Calgary Central United Church.
Initially established to answer the community’s call for mental health support, almost 55 years later, we never could have imagined that one day we would be serving a community with a population of 1.4 million, nearly five times the size of when we opened. But what remains the same is that our community needs support when dealing with mental health challenges.
As the economic downturn in our city surpassed the two-year mark, we continued to monitor and respond to the levels of distress in those around us. As more than 90,000 people lost their jobs in Calgary and many more were faced with uncertainties, stress, and anxiety due to the recession, we saw a 10% increase in the number of counselling sessions, meaning the elevated distress clients were experiencing required more than the average of 8-10 sessions of treatment.
As we look to 2017 and beyond, we’re committed helping more people than ever before. Moving to our new space at the Kahanoff Centre was another step in ensuring we can serve the needs of the community. We’re committed to changing with the times, working to understand the needs of individuals, families and the overall community so that we can provide the mental health services our clients need.
During his visit in October to support National Depression Screening Day, Dr. David Goldbloom, MD, Medical Advisor, Education and Public Affairs, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, had the opportunity to tour our new space and meet with our CEO. He had high praise for both Calgary Counselling Centre and our work saying that “As Calgarians, you should be proud of having a counselling centre like the one I saw,” describing the Centre as “unparalleled in the country in terms of a number of key variables including access, quality, standards, measurement, education and accountability.”
According to the latest census data, Calgary has had the highest growth rate of any metropolitan area in Canada over the past five years, despite being in the throes of an economic downturn. While the population, skyline, and price of oil may change, one thing remains the same. At Calgary Counselling Centre our role is to be a constant and reliable source of support, delivering the highest quality of counselling to achieve the best results for our clients. We’ve been there for our city during tough times before, and we will continue to be there moving forward. That is our commitment.