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What Does Connection Mean To You? | #turni2we - CMHA Calgary & Region

What Does Connection Mean To You?

What does connection mean to you? To me, it means being surrounded by people who understand and accept you.

How does it make you feel? When I think of those I feel most connected to, it provides me with a sense of knowing I belong.

That’s what we thought about as we designed the new Welcome Centre & Recovery College at CMHA Calgary.

The feeling of finding a connection, or knowing you belong will be the biggest indicator of how successful one’s journey will be when they take that first step and ask for support.

The Welcome Centre is staffed by Peer Support Workers – people who understand because they’ve been there – whether themselves or in supporting a loved one. These peers have all been through intensive training which helps them make their personal experience work to be there for others. It is that same personal experience which is the foundation for all of the classes at our newly opened Recovery College; here every class is designed with those who have faced these situations. At Recovery College, experience equals expertise!

The coffee-shop atmosphere of the centre provides a safe and welcoming way to start. Once the connection begins, here the opportunity exists to move on to our Recovery College programs where our free classes are open to anyone interested in learning about some of the ways we can improve our mental health.

When I explain to my friends and family what Recovery College is, I tell them that absolutely anyone can take courses because it rarely has anything to do about mental illnesses or diagnoses, but it’s a new way of educating ourselves and learning what it truly means to be mentally well. I believe it’s a ground-breaking initiative that’s going to start a powerful movement on just how important mental wellness is now and is going to be in the future.

– Holly Anderson, Peer Support Worker



This is just the beginning. We know that when we opened our doors and made it easy to access help and support by creating a warm, welcoming space that people will be walking through our doors in numbers like we’ve never seen before.

To meet that need, we need your support!

Now that we’ve created it, we want to ensure that no one is turned away. That waiting lists aren’t a worry. That our community knows help truly is easy, accessible, and ready.

We built it with the generous support of our city. And we need that continued commitment to meet the need. Your gift will get us there.

As Executive Director, I thank you in advance, for your continued support of CMHA Calgary and those in our community dealing with mental health and substance use challenges as they begin their journey of recovery.


Laureen MacNeil
Executive Director, CMHA Calgary Region