Since 1962, Calgary Counselling Centre (CCC) has been improving the well-being of individuals and families and strengthening communities by delivering best practices in counselling, training and research. In Calgary alone, 1 out of 5 people develop an emotional challenge and with the persisting affects of the pandemic, mental health struggles are still on the rise.
In June of 2022, CCC was pleased to announce the launch of Counselling Alberta, made possible through a partnership between CCC and the Government of Alberta. Alberta’s government is providing CCC with $6.75 million over the next two years to expand and facilitate access to virtual counselling services, focusing especially in rural areas.
CCC believes that every Albertan should have easy access to the most effective counselling without waiting or worrying about cost. Counselling Alberta is available to all Albertans, is private and secure, highly effective, and has no wait list.
Robbie Babins-Wagner, PhD and Chief Executive Officer of CCC explains how this all came to fruition:
“Alberta Health (AH) came to us to see if we would be interested to launch this initiative. It was such a great idea because throughout the pandemic, we received an increase of calls for help. This meant scaling across the province which has been part of our plan for some time. It was such a good opportunity that fit our internal screening tool for new initiatives and had the potential to meet the needs of people across the province.”
The biggest hurdle CCC has faced is finding people to meet the needs for the new project. Robbie says:
“Counselling is what we do every day. So how do we do market the program well and reach out to people across the province? How is it best to reach out in communities that we don’t know well?”
CCC continues to learn about creating a new structure:
“It is hard work and hard to acquire staff and counsellors. We are just about fully staffed but are still in need for a communications person.”
Looking to the future, CCC continues to reach out to cities in Alberta, customizing their work, and contracting with six other centres across Alberta.
We are so proud of our team and their focus on social enterprise at CCC. We are confident this will help make a huge difference in the lives of Albertans! You can read our previous coverage of their journey here: