Prickly problems demand well-equipped problem solvers. I’m Josh Martin, and my experience with cancer taught me a lot about tackling adversity. Inspired by that journey, I created the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook. Here, you’ll find a collection of stories, inspiration and advice about getting through tough times — from broken legs and broken hearts to COVID quarantines, money troubles and more.

Local resources: Need a helping hand?

This edition of the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook was made possible thanks to the generous support of the local sponsors listed below. Explore their information to learn about their services and how they can help you through whatever challenge you’re facing. And for a directory of other resources in the community, click here!

At Prevail Psychology, we walk alongside you in your search for resilience in the face of life’s challenges. We are very skilled at helping clients navigate depression and anxiety, as well as issues related to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), emotional regulation, trauma, family conflict, LBGT, adolescence, trauma, self-harm, attachment, parenting and relationships. No referral necessary, contact us today for appointment information. 403-926-8606 ~

Enthusiastic about imaginative expression, Karen Daniels inspires wellness through the arts. She supports adults regain momentum and make lifestyle changes. Making meaningful change by learning life skills is at the heart of Occupational Therapy. Arts methods like writing, art, and music are remarkable ways to express ourselves and rediscover insight. Curious? Contact Karen for more details. 403-477-9472 ~ ~

Providing services to assist with body, mind, and soul.

It can feel intimidating and uncomfortable to reach out for help, especially for issues involving sex and relationships. Lindsay specializes in working with individuals with sexual trauma, betrayal trauma and sexual compulsivity. She provides compassionate, holistic, individualized and non-judgemental counselling to support people in finding freedom and healing.

Life can be tough to deal with. At times having you feel like you are unable to cope. For the last 10 years, I have helped clients access their inner resilience to help them rise above the stressors that they have been faced with. I have expertise in the areas of anxiety, depression and couples issues.


Lessons learned from leukemia

More life lessons

Cancer reminded me that life is the greatest teacher of all. The following stories share obstacle-busting lessons from some of life’s other awesome and absurd moments — from sleeping in a barn to multiple run-ins with Bill Clinton’s bodyguards to nearly driving a car off a cliff.

Community resources in Calgary, Alberta

One of the most important lessons Josh learned from his health crisis was the importance of community. Whether it was accessing peer support programs, using the Cancer Society’s shuttle service to get to appointments or tapping into educational materials from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, community resources played a big role in his success.

Whatever obstacle you face in life — personally, professionally or otherwise — be sure to consider the resources available in your community. Fortunately, Calgary boasts all kinds of organizations and programs focused on helping folks overcome a variety of obstacles.

Below, you’ll find information about some of them. This listing is by no means exhaustive, but it will hopefully give you a flavour of the kinds of resources available in your own backyard.

Mental health

Distress Centre Calgary
(24-hour crisis line)
403-266-HELP (4357)

Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary

Youth Addiction and Mental Health – Help4Me

Alberta Health Services – Addiction & Mental Health
Addiction helpline: 1-866-332-2322 (24/7)
Mental health helpline: 1-877-303-2642 (24/7)

Local therapists

Anxiety counsellors

Depression counsellors

Grief counsellors

Victim resources – death and bereavement
(City of Calgary)

Grief Support Program – Calgary Zone
(Alberta Health Services)

Find a local occupational therapist

Physical health

Find a local physiotherapist

Find a local occupational therapist

Alzheimer’s Society of Canada – Alberta

Canadian Cancer Society – Alberta

Heart & Stroke Foundation
(Calgary office)
119 14 St NW #200, Calgary

Seniors programs and services
(City of Calgary)

Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society

Kerby Centre for the 55-plus

Families and individuals

Calgary Region Child & Family Services

Ministry of Children’s Services

The Carya Society of Calgary
(counselling and development services for families and individuals)

Divorce therapists in Calgary

Family conflict therapists in Calgary

Women’s Centre of Calgary

Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network
Sexual abuse/assault assistance: (403) 237-5888 or 1-877-237-5888 (toll-free in Alberta)
Domestic/relationship abuse assistance: (403) 234-7233 (SAFE) or 1-866-606-7233 (toll-free in Alberta)

Victim resources – Sexual assault and violence
(City of Calgary)

Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCSA)
Support & information line: 1-877-237-5888

Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter

The Mustard Seed Shelter

Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre

The Calgary Food Bank

YWCA Calgary

YMCA Calgary

Community centres

Employment and financial

Calgary Career Counselling

Calgary employment services
(Government of Alberta)

City of Calgary Youth Employment Centre

Career guidance counsellors in Calgary

The Credit Counselling Society


Immigrant Services Calgary

Centre for Newcomers

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth

Want to help others in your community overcome obstacles? Here are few local opportunities to consider:

Propellus – The Volunteer Centre of Calgary

Volunteer opportunities with the City of Calgary

Volunteer Connector

Blood donor clinics
(search “Calgary” for nearby clinics)

Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta

Big Brothers Big S