540,000 people in Calgary will need mental health support at some point.

Waitlists have an average of 72 people waiting.

Wait times average 303 days, and as long as 5 years.

Let’s change that. Together.

Converge Mental Health, a collective of 70 individuals and organizations, together with the Hunter Family Foundation, Karma & Cents Social Impact Lab, and Helpseeker Technologies is reimagining the mental health system.

Over 10 months, Helpseeker supported Converge to map the mental health system in Calgary and surrounding area; identifying and analyzing 397 services against needs, highlighting gaps between the services offered and the demographics in need. The analysis shows opportunities across the entire system to address wait times and referral processes, two bottleneck areas that create uneven supply and demand across the support network.

In July 2022, Karma & Cents, in partnership with HelpSeeker Technologies, and the Hunter Family Foundation, hosted a Solution SPRINT. The purpose of this event was to dive into the research and data on Alberta’s Mental Health System. In this collaborative 2 days workshop technologists, front-line mental health workers, researchers, philanthropists, designers, and users of mental health services participated with the vision to reimagine the mental health system. Moving from a system that delivers fragmented and often re-traumatizing services through disjointed infrastructure to one that is connected, integrated and provides the promise of no wait lists, more access points, and greater coordination. Calgary and the surrounding areas were used as a pilot environment.

This multi-faceted approach allowed CONVERGE Mental Health to systematically unpack the mental health system in a pilot area, and make iterative improvements using the SPRINT agile approach (plan, develop, design, test, review, launch, evaluate, modify, scale).

Through the mapping, analysis and solution SPRINT, a need for more data driven public conversation and navigation efficacy was identified. From these needs, specific actions were identified to create a strategic approach to creating a more efficient system to deliver vital resources to those in need.

From Calgary, these initiatives can be scaled out and implemented across Canada. Imagine a system across Canada in which your mental health needs can be met by the resources you need, when you need it. Converge Mental Health is not only imagining it, but on the ground working to make it happen.

Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/3f0ty0Z

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