NEED HELP?  Call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322


About CMHA

The CMHA Central Alberta Region was founded in 1964. Like the other eight Alberta regional branches, we are separately incorporated as a non-profit charity and respond to grass root needs. Over the past thirty years we have played a major role in addressing the education, housing, income, and support needs of our community and the individuals with mental illness, brain injuries and addiction living in Central Alberta.

CMHA Central Alberta Storage of Records and Files Policy

CMHA Central Alberta Conflict Resolution Policy

Client Code of Conduct and Complaint Procedure Policy

Our Charity # is 89150 2148 RR0001.

T3010 Registered Charity Infomation

You can read about the history of CMHA nationally here.

Mission Statement

The Canadian Mental Health Association is a non-profit organization promoting community wellness and supporting people with mental illness, brain injury, and addictions. Based on community needs, staff and volunteers accomplish this through recovery focused support, education, and advocacy.

Our Goals

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Our Locations

Our Main Office

Canadian Mental Health Association
Central Region Main Office
5017 50th Avenue
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 4B2

Pathways to Housing
Amethyst House: Permanent Housing First Apartments
On April 1, 2020, our Learning Annex is moving from First Red Deer Place to the Mid City Plaza
Map of Learning Annex Area

Executive Director, Giselle Kutrowski

Board of Directors

Chair, Lynne Mulder

Vice Chair, Finance, Beth Callihoo

Vice Chair, Governance, Mary Gardiner

Vice Chair, Social Advocacy, Tom Olson

Director of Advocacy, Meagan Parisian

Provincial Representative And Director of Advocacy, Brandi Heather

Director of Governance, Julia Harvie-Shemko

Sannie McCrady
Life Member

Dr. Norm Costigan
Life Member

Annual Report, 2019-2020

2020 has been an unprecedented year.  From a global pandemic to social injustices to community tragedies, the mental health of Central Albertans has been
under fire from every direction.  CMHA Central Alberta is honoured to walk alongside our community members in the search for balance in these difficult times.
Our Crisis Counselor served 150 people in 2019 and that number was at 165 already by the end of August this year.

Our Learning Centre moved to a new location at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and then quickly transitioned to on-line services, serving a record number of local participants as well as people from out of Province and out of Country.  With the success of these online practices, we plan to keep these options in place long-term so that we can continue to eliminate barriers in providing services.

Our Permanent Supportive Housing program moved to a new location last year, with the ability to house more people.  Our Grand Opening was an exciting event, celebrating past successes and future opportunities!

As we have seen this year, the future is uncertain, but our commitment to mental health for the people of Central Alberta has not changed.  We are here to advocate for our community members and reach towards the CMHA motto.  Thank you for your continued support for the work we do. We couldn’t do it without you.


Christine Stewart, Executive Director

Our Impact

Systems Navigation

  • 191 individuals served in 2020 to August 31
  • 90% of clients needed less than 3 hours of assistance

Crisis Counselor

  • 150 individuals served in 2019
  • 165 clients served in 2020 through August 31

Alberta Brain Injury Network

  • 143 clients served 2019-2020

The Learning Centre

  • 200—230 participants each month
  • About 50 courses offered each month

Programs and Services

Systems Navigation

Provides support to individuals and families with multiple barriers to navigate the complex systems and processes needed to access various government and community services.

Crisis Counselor

Provides support to those individuals having an immediate mental health crisis.

Alberta Brain Injury Network

Provides support, coordination, and education to adults with an acquired brain injury and their families.

The Learning Centre

Provides educational programming related to recovery, resilience, and hope.

Amethyst House

Provides 24 hour permanent supported housing for individuals with a history of homelessness related to addictions, mental health and/or brain injury.

Pathways to Housing

Provides 24-hour permanent supported housing for individuals living with severe mental health and addictions that have support through Alberta Health Services, as well as case managers and other 24-hour support workers. 

Government support    2,788,758  2,672,095
Public support       325,962      285,011
Other revenues          59,757          1,444
Amortization of deferred contributions            8,244          8,201
Interest income            6,936          6,626
Total revenue    3,189,657  2,973,377
Salaries and benefits    2,151,997  2,111,534
Other program expenditures       611,486      626,477
Operating expenses       273,852      267,202
Building occupancy       111,295      101,309
Total expenses    3,148,630  3,106,522
Loss on disposal of capital assets –         7,939                 –
Complete audited financial statements are available upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: No. CMHA is a national non-profit organization with nationalprovincial and local offices.

A: CMHA – Central Alberta Region shares a common vision to deliver community mental health services and promote awareness and advocacy about mental health issues; however, independent regions and branches such as ours are largely autonomous. The independence of each local office allows us to provide programs and services that best suit the needs of our communities.

A: Yes. There are more than 135 offices. Find a complete listing of these here.

A: CMHA is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization that has been operating in Canada since 1918 and in Central Alberta since 1964. CMHA is dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness through a comprehensive range of community-based services for individuals, families, groups and organizations.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a commission created by the Federal Government in 2007 to promote mental health in Canada and work with stakeholders to change attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support.

A: No. CMHA provides community-based support services, not medical care. We can, however give referrals to other organizations where you can get help. Please see our services for a complete list of our programs and services.

No. You can get treatment by a physician or a therapist for mental health or addiction through Alberta Health Services, Addictions and Mental Health. We can also refer you to a variety of not-for-profit community agencies for counselling.

  • Alberta Health Services, Mental Health, 47333 – 49 Street, Red Deer 403-340-5466
  • Alberta Health Services, Addictions, #104, 4920 – 51 Street, Red Deer 403-340-5274

A: Yes. Our staff can help people using our services with a large number of concerns requiring individual advocacy. Our Board of Directors and staff are involved with systems change advocacy locally, provincially, and nationally.

Scent Free Policy

In recognition of potential health risks, CMHA-Central Alberta has developed a scent free policy. Staff and visitors are asked to refrain from using or wearing scented products when entering this workplace. A list of commonly scented products covered under this policy is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has provided the following information on the Scent Free Policy for the Workplace page on their website at: 

Scents are included in a very large range of products including:

  • shampoo and conditioners
  • hairsprays
  • deodorants
  • colognes and aftershaves
  • fragrances and perfumes
  • lotions and creams
  • potpourri
  • industrial and household chemicals
  • soaps
  • cosmetics
  • air fresheners and deodorizers
  • oils
  • candles
  • diapers
  • some types of garbage bags
  • laundry fragrance beads and dryer sheets


It is important to remember some products which claim to be ‘scent free’ may have only masked the scent by use of an additional chemical. Be sure to research the product carefully if using scented products around those who are sensitive.

When scented products have been blamed for adversely affecting a person’s health, some or all of the following symptoms are reported:

  • headaches
  • dizziness, lightheadedness
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • insomnia
  • malaise
  • confusion
  • loss of appetite
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • numbness
  • upper respiratory symptoms
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty with concentration
  • skin irritation


Allergic and asthmatic patients, as well as those with other conditions, report that certain odours, even in the smallest amounts, can trigger an attack.

The severity of these symptoms can vary. Some people report mild irritation while others are incapacitated and/or must give up many ‘normal’ activities in order to avoid exposure (such as going to public places).