Barrier-Free Mental Health Support for Young Adults

The Cause

Young adults are struggling.
Our idea is to raise funds to provide barrier-free counselling to support young adults ages 18-29, who would otherwise be unable to afford mental health services.
The past few years have produced an unparalleled mental health “perfect storm.” In addition to the impact of the pandemic, there have been effects such as relationship issues, financial pressures, stress resulting from the high cost of living and inflation, political tensions and school/workplace challenges and demands. These challenges resulted in anxiety, relationship problems and depression as the leading reasons young people sought our help in 2022. For those who have financial challenges, the past few years have been made even more difficult.
Our initiative, Barrier-Free Mental Health Support for Young Adults will provide mental health services for young adults ages 18-29, addressing a crucial gap in mental health services in Calgary and the surrounding area by providing affordable and no waitlist individual and group counselling. Our barrier-free mental health services are especially important right now because many Albertans can't afford private mental health treatment, while public services have long waitlists.
Through 4 to 6 individual counselling sessions (on average), CCC counsellors will help young adults learn problem-solving skills, coping methods and other skills that give them the confidence, resilience, and tools to face life’s challenges.

Who Will it Benefit?

Young adults (aged 18-29) will directly benefit from increased access to barrier-free mental health services. This generation is facing major transitions and instabilities in education, employment, and relationships, and many of them are struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression.
During the pandemic many students had to complete high school online, attend their graduation virtually or socially distanced and then begin their post-secondary education, internships or new jobs online. This made it challenging to form important relationships with new friends and co-workers, gain more independence, and network at such a critical stage in their lives, leaving many with added stress or anxiety.
A major contributing factor to the stress facing young adults is the rising cost of living. With food, housing, and tuition rates soaring, many young people are having to adjust their life plans, some are living longer at home, getting a second part-time job, taking out students loans or cutting costs anywhere they can. Which means many cannot afford to take care of their mental health and need help paying for counselling services. This is where we can help by providing access to barrier-free mental health services to those who need them.
In 2022, CCC provided 40,999 counselling sessions to 8,776 children, youth, young adults, adults and seniors in our community. 92% of clients benefited from services at CCC. Among the young adults we saw in 2022, 68.7% (2,430 clients) were given financial subsidies to attend 12,330 counselling sessions. Without this help, these clients, ages 18-29, would not have been able to afford professional counselling services to address their treatable mental health challenges.