The Calgary Overcoming Obstacles Handbook

Local resources. Inspiring stories. Practical advice.

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You Need Courage to Overcome Obstacles!

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We all face times that require extra support. Kate is a psychologist who provides a holistic counselling approach to clients to produce meaningful and lasting change. Kate works with a range of concerns such as burnout, trauma, anxiety, and grief and loss issues that come with life transitions.

Whether it’s physical, financial, professional or psychological, everybody goes through tough times in their lives. Josh Martin was 28 years old when he experienced his biggest challenge yet: an aggressive form of leukemia. Inspired by his journey, the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook is a free collection of real-life stories, practical advice and local resources in Calgary, Alberta geared at helping people who are facing adversity.

Get your copy of the handbook


Video features

Blood donors: helping others

Ten years ago, cancer almost killed me. Blood donors saved my life. And for that, I just wanted to say thanks.

Practicing gratitude

Gratitude. What’s so special about it, and how can we cultivate more of it in our lives to help us through tough times?

Life is awesome. Life is awful.

Sometimes life is an ice cream sundae smothered in chocolate. Other times it’s a flurry of kung-fu kicks to the gut.

Letting go

When my sister Meghan got stuck in the mud, she learned a valuable lesson about the importance of letting go.

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 Sisters of Calgary and Area