Reflecting on Mental Health Week in Grande Prairie, Alberta: Building Resilience and Community Support

Reflecting on Mental Health Week in Grande Prairie, Alberta: Building Resilience and Community Support

Mental Health Week in Grande Prairie, May 6th to May 12th, was a dynamic and engaging experience filled with events, conversations, and initiatives to foster community resilience and support. Various organizations throughout the community organized activities, workshops, and engagement opportunities throughout the week. Some events included family yoga, crafts, a community BBQ, and the Mental Health Summit hosted by the Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention and Northwestern Polytechnic  to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and put mental wellbeing at the forefront.

Working with other organizations during Mental Health Week can amplify our collective impact and reach more people who need support. This year’s theme, created by the Canadian Mental Health Association, was ‘A Call to Be Kind‘, focused on building connections, sharing resources and sparking meaningful conversations. The goal was to create a ripple effect of compassion and empowerment for individuals to take control of their mental wellbeing and build a community of kindness and support

Jayden Sydoruk

Community Helpers Program Coordinator, Resource Centre For Suicide Prevention

Community Engagement and Education

The kickoff of Mental Health Week was a testament to our community’s collaborative spirit—a small planning committee representing various organizations designed a community calendar hosted by RCSP. The calendar showcased weekly events with dates, times, and locations.

Stakeholders, professionals, and community members gathered to promote wellness and mental health in the trades, industry, and agriculture sectors.

By spotlighting these challenges, the Summit aimed to initiate meaningful conversations and develop targeted strategies to support the mental wellbeing in these sectors.

Elder Theresa Gladue giving the opening prayer for the Mental Health Summit

Kicking off the conference was a Tough Enough To Talk About It presentation with program coordinaor Tracy Golnick.

Tough Enough To Talk About It is a comprehensive mental health program created specifically for Trades, Industry, and Agriculture. It aims to foster a workplace culture of support that reduces mental health stigma.

The presentation stirred a lot of discussion, from the pressures of demanding work environments to the stigma surrounding mental health in traditionally male-dominated fields and the barriers to accessing support and resources.

Tracy Golnick presenting Tough Enough To Talk About It

The Mental Health Summit was an amazing opportunity to build connections, participate in crucial conversations, and create space for mental health in trades and industries, occupations that typically don’t talk about mental well-being. Having so many passionate participants come together to learn, share, and take back information to their companies was both inspiring and humbling.

Tracy Golnick

Director of Men's Mental Health, Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention

Keynote Presentation

Keynote speaker Kris Marks, Owner/Founder of VĪV Mental Health, shared his lived experience with delegates, speaking about the internal and external obstacles he faced overcoming a traumatic event when he was young and its impact on him as an adult. Kris’s story was a compelling example of the strength in vulnerability and the importance of seeking help and knowing that you are not alone.

Over the two days, breakout sessions occurred, and experts shared insights and practical strategies for promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace and fostering supportive cultures. Thirteen breakout sessions over two days included topics such as HR’s Role in Mental Health Awareness with Danielle Hessler, Two Twelve Consulting, Understanding Suicide & Why Companies Need to Talk About It with Tammy Monro, Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention, and Conflict and Boundaries and De-escalation: Learning to Thrive in the Midst of Conflict, Lauren Van Ewyk, National Farmer Mental Health Alliance.

Dave Nix, who flew in from Texas, shared with delegates how ConocoPhillips’ partners with external resources to decrease stigma, increase access, and encourage those struggling to get care and on how company leaders can incorporate aspects of mental wellbeing into the company culture.

Dave Nix, Conoco Phillips, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Manager

The stories, conversations, and support offered during Mental Health Week in Grande Prairie have illuminated the path toward a more compassionate and understanding society.

But the end of Mental Health Week is not the end of the journey. It’s merely a milestone along the way. We must continue the conversations we’ve started and dismantle the stigma. Let it serve as a reminder that mental health is not a one-week affair; it’s a lifelong commitment to ourselves and each other. 

Together, we can create a world where mental health is valued, supported, and prioritized. Let’s keep the conversation going, support one another, and strive for a brighter, healthier future for all.

For more information about our programs and workshops, please visit

Grimshaw Office Open House a Success

Grimshaw Office Open House a Success

Resource Centre Opens New Location In Grimshaw

On June 22nd, our Grimshaw office officially opened its doors to the public, hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Alberta’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Dan Williams. The town of Grimshaw’s Mayor, Wendy Wald, gave a very heartfelt introduction and display of community support and engagement as she joined us for the day’s discussions.

Together, community and surrounding area members heard about our different programs and gave feedback on where we can fit in to help with Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for men, youth, and the community at large.

The coffee and snacks donated by Tim Hortons, Gord Mackinnon, helped fuel the conversation and community engagement, making for an amazing day filled with regional stakeholders and public support. Thank you to everyone for your attendance and for making an amazing day for all of us!