Updated: Mar 24

Mental health challenges are the single largest health problem facing young people in Canada today. With one in five children and teenagers struggling, the demand for services is higher than our health system can accommodate. Thankfully, generous people in our community are working hard to change that.

May will be an exciting month of Hollywood glitz and a one-of-a-kind music experience — two events in support of the new Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health.

The Metamorphosis Gala

On Saturday, May 4, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Youth Council will present the 6th annual Metamorphosis Gala, an evening of entertainment, guest speakers, a silent auction and more at the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $45 for adults, $25 for students and $15 for children up to the age of 11. This year’s theme is A Night at the Oscars! Click here for tickets. For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Nitschke at 403-955-8815 or snitschke@achf.com.

Can't attend or want to help even more?

You can donate directly to the Youth Council's fundraising page for the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


On May 24, treat yourself to the premier of CRESCENDO at the Arts Commons Jack Singer Concert Hall. This unique concert is presented in partnership with the John Cameron Changing Lives Foundation and will have you on your feet and belting out classic rock favourites. Beyond an evening of exceptional live music, CRESCENDO stirs compassion and hope for those facing mental health challenges in our community as they share their personal stories from the stage. Together we can build understanding, reduce stigma, and fund programs to help those reaching out for support. Click here for tickets. We hope you can join us.

Why Give?

​There is a critical need for more specialized services.

The new Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health will be wholly dedicated to serving children, adolescents and their families in need of urgent and intensive mental health care and will be located in a beautiful community setting. Its three new services will augment and integrate with the overall continuum of care currently provided through the AHS Child & Adolescent Addiction, Mental Health and Psychiatry Program (CAAMHPP) and other important community agencies.

The new Centre will provide families with greater access to timely assessments, intervention and therapy and ultimately reduce admissions and lengths of stay in hospital for children and teens.

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

CALGARY – Architectural renderings were unveiled today of a new centre for child and adolescent mental health, being built in partnership between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF).

First announced in May, the centre will ensure timely access to appropriate mental health supports for thousands of young people each year, and will offer new and enhanced services, including specialized triage and the opportunity for immediate referrals to onsite programs. By offering community-based services, many under the same roof, clients and their families will receive care that can stabilize and manage escalating illness and ideally prevent hospitalization.

“Providing appropriate and effective care for a child or youth facing a mental health issue can set them on the path to a healthy future,” says Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. “Our government is committed to fighting for children and youth with mental health issues, as well as their families, so that they can get timely access to the services they need.”

The three-storey, 3,200-square-metre structure features a program area on each level, including walk-in services, intensive community treatment, and a day hospital. A day hospital is an outpatient facility where patients attend for assessment, treatment or rehabilitation during the day then return home, or to an alternate care facility at night.

“We are pleased to share the first images of the new stand-alone centre for child and adolescent mental health in Calgary,” says AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu. “The centre will help us further our goal of providing the best possible care to children and youth in our community who experience mental health issues.”

The new facility will be developed on vacant AHS land, adjacent to an existing Youth Services facility in the northwest Calgary community of Hounsfield Heights - Briar Hill. Construction is expected to start next fall and take two years to complete.

“We are very pleased with how plans for the new centre are taking shape,” says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Our generous community helped build the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the best facility possible for children with physical health issues. And now, together, we’re going to do the same thing for young people struggling with mental health issues.”

Input from the community, recommendations from youth advisors, and advice from consultations with other child and adolescent mental health centres across Canada, the U.S. and Australia have influenced the design of the building. To ensure the facility fits in well with the surrounding community, special design elements have been incorporated in the plans such as pitched roofs, tasteful landscaping and private outdoor seating areas.

An abundance of windows to bring in natural light, healing gardens and recreational spaces that open to the outdoors have also been incorporated into the design, bringing elements of nature into the centre. Welcome lounges have been created to be home-like, comfortable and private. In addition, based on observation of important features in other similar facilities, program enhancements – including a teaching kitchen and barista station – have been added.

“Youth will continue to provide input and consultation as we work to develop the inside of the building, including room layouts, colours and furniture,” says AHS project manager Beverly Wilson.

To date, AHS has held six community engagement sessions with more than 80 participants.

AHS will continue working with its partners, patients and families, and the community to ensure the design and services meet the needs of young patients, while also ensuring community input is incorporated. “I have had the privilege of seeing the design of the new centre for child and adolescent mental health,” says Sue Washington, a parent advisor who has helped provide input on the services and design features of the centre. “In addition to the services that will be provided, with all of the windows the design incorporates to provide natural light and the multi-purpose outdoor spaces, this new building will be an incredible resource for our city.”

With design and planning work now underway, the ACHF has set $50 million as the goal for its Build Them Up campaign to fully fund construction of the centre, along with program and research enhancements. Calgary-based Sahuri + Partners Architecture Inc. is the contracted prime consultant for the development of the centre for child and adolescent mental health.

The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation inspires our community to invest in excellence in child health, research and family-centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation provides funding for innovative programs, state-of-the-art equipment, advanced medical training and internationally-recognized pediatric research. The Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation is a founding partner of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, as well as the primary funder.

📷 Alberta.ca

The lieutenant-governor presented the 2017 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship medal and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Arts medal to young people from across Alberta at Government House.

The citizenship medal recognizes students for volunteerism and leadership within their communities and schools.

Julia Caddy was awarded a Citizenship medal, and we couldn't be more proud of her and the advocacy work and leadership she does for youth mental health initiatives.

Each award includes a $5,000 cheque, a letter of congratulations from the minister of Culture and Tourism and a medal and letter of commendation presented by the lieutenant-governor.

Congratulations Julia!