By Dan McKinnon, CAFE Calgary Director

The CAFE Calgary branch has received a donation for a one-day per week office space from the clinic of registered psychologists where I have my practice. The offices are in a beautifully renovated home that is licensed to offer mental health services within a residential neighborhood setting. Following are the programs/initiatives we are starting with:

1. Conversations – At least once a month we are running a meetup group to talk about general issues that men and their families are experiencing here in Alberta. We have 50+ members in our meetup group at this time. Monique is leading this initiative/program.

2. Circles – At least twice a month we are holding a men’s peer support circle/group based on the one that the Canadian Centre for Men and Families currently runs in Toronto. We will also begin a mindfulness meditation circle/group for men and their families in the new year. I will be the facilitator for these groups.

3. Counsels – We have established a “Pro-Bono” Counselling Bank of registered psychologists who are willing to provide us via letter of agreement with three free counselling hours per year for men/boys in distress/crisis. Our plan is to grow this “Bank” via networking within the counselling psychology community and advertising in our professional association. Carol is leading this initiative/program.

4. Connections – We are engaging organizations in the Calgary community who hold and support a similar interest and commitment to the mental health and well-being of men and boys as a means of creating strategic alliances, sharing fund-raising resources and increasing public awareness.

One day per week is a small start and at the same time it is a strong start. If our dreams come true and we have our way there will be a full-time CAFE Calgary Centre for Men & Families in the future.

If you know of someone in Calgary who can benefit from the above or who can provide resources, both in person and/or financially, for the above please have them contact us.