What is Caregiver Connections
Caregiver Connections is a free drop-in group for anyone who is supporting a loved one with a mental health concern, illness or addiction. Formal diagnosis by a doctor is not required for caregivers to attend. Caregivers aren’t just parents and Caregiver Connections is for anyone who is actively involved in the care of someone with a mental health concern with whom they have a personal relationship. This is not designed for paid caregivers.
The benefits of peer support
At CMHA, we believe that offering peer-led support will:
- Increase emotional support for families;
- Reduce isolation shame and blame;
- Assist families in navigating systems of care and improve awareness of resources; and
- promote and develop tools for self-care.
What is a Caregiver?
Caregivers Alberta defines a caregiver as someone who assists a family member or friend with challenges resulting from illness, disability or aging.
Caregivers Connections – Finding Your Balance
Many parents and caregivers may be concerned about someone’s mental health and well-being, or may have a difficult time coping with a mental health concern of a child or adult. Parents and caregivers often wonder how best to parent and provide support. Families impacted by a mental health concern or diagnosis can find it particularly difficult to get the help they need.
CMHA in Alberta in partnership with the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Children’s Services has developed a peer-to-peer family support program. Caregiver Connections provides parents and caregivers with a drop-in support group that provides compassionate support, along with specific information and resources.
With the support of trained peers with lived experience, parents and caregivers will learn how to best take care of themselves, ask for help when necessary and learn about the importance of boundaries. It is a safe place to gather together for shared stories, networking, education, resources, and support.
Caregiver Connections operates on a drop-in basis, and parents and caregivers can join the group at any time. There is no fee for this service.
What can a participant expect from the sessions?
Parents and caregivers can drop into this group when they need some extra support. A peer facilitator will guide the conversation according to the needs of the participants. Each week the group will have the opportunity to explore relevant Caregiver Connections materials as well as identify issues and ask questions relevant to their own experience. A CMHA staff member hosting the group will be able to connect people to resources in our community.
Parents and caregivers may attend as many sessions as they like.
When and where does the Caregiver Connection Group at CMHA Central Alberta meet?
- Group time:
- every Tuesday, evening of the month from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
- The Caregiver Connections group does not meet on Alberta Statutory Holidays or during Christmas week
Upcoming Caregiver Connections Support Group Meetings
For more information call us at 403-342-2266 and ask for our education staff or use our contact form to connect with us.