There is no denying that we are in a mental health crisis. As the realities of the economic downturn and the pandemic continue to unfold, mental exhaustion will reveal itself more and more. We cannot sit idly by and watch people suffer and unravel. Building communities of care in our Ward 12 neighbourhoods will be vital to a comprehensive response. Here are three action points that will be important to me as your Councillor:
Action #1: Calgary has a newly minted Mental Health and Addiction Community Strategy and Action Plan. It was developed with extensive engagement from residents, nonprofits and expert opinions. With the extensive changeover coming to City Hall it will need new champions to move the work forward. I will champion and support this work.
Action #2: I am already aware of some leaders in the Mental Health space who live in Ward 12. I will work to identify and empower more local leadership passionate about improving the mental health of their friends, family and neighbours and move The City Action Plan forward, starting in Ward 12.
Action #3: While there has rightly been a considerable increase in the amount of funding available from the Provincial and Federal governments for mental health, we need sustainable strategies. I will advocate strongly to keep the focus on the community markers of our plan by connecting grassroots groups (volunteer) with the formal organizations (paid) and highlighting their role in the plan.