3 min read

Helping youth change their world – so they can change ours

(content warning: discusses mental health, including suicidal ideation. If you are in distress please phone 403-266-HELP)

carya‘s youth programming reaches hundreds of teens and children each year, providing mental health supports, community resources, and empowerment programs across Calgary.

We work hard because we know that access to these resources and prevention are key in setting young people up for success later in their lives.

Early intervention leads to higher self-esteem, healthier relationships, fewer clinical mental health problems, and less stress on our acute care systems. Early intervention and social supports help people navigate their younger years with more confidence.

And being a teenager or young adult in 2022 is more challenging than ever. Half their world is online, and even with 5,000 followers, loneliness, depression, and anxiety can creep in.

Last year, the Calgary Board of Education reported a 92% increase in the need for student mental health services compared to 2020. At carya alone, we saw a 54% increase in family counselling services.

One family was referred to carya after their child was struggling with suicidal thoughts and had visited the emergency room several times in only a few months. Their therapist supported the youth and their parents through this difficult period, and helped the family identify warning signs and signals.

The parents were empowered with more effective communication skills, and their child felt safer talking about their struggles in the home.

Our in-school youth programs also reach hundreds of students each year, providing an inclusive and safe space to connect with peers and learn valuable skills and information to make positive, healthy life choices.

“Starburst taught me to believe in myself and to believe that I am worthy or succeeding.
I know I can and will be a success! Thank you Starburst!”
– carya youth participant 

International Youth Day 2022

August 12th was first commemorated as International Youth Day 22 years ago, and continues to be celebrated globally to raise awareness about issues faced by children and teens today.

This year, they’re amplifying a message of collaboration and intergenerational communities working alongside each other – something we’re passionate about at carya.

We celebrate and empower youth year-round,  and we know how important it is to support Calgary’s future generations. 

This International Youth Day – give the gift of a bright future for Calgary’s kids!

And you’ll have an even bigger impact when you donate to carya through Shaw’s Birdies for Kids. Until August 31, your gift will be matched up to 50% – making your dollars go even further in supporting future generations with the resources they need.

Without accessible mental health and social resources, our acute care system will continue to exceed capacity. Parents, teachers, caregivers and families will continue to struggle to find the proper support for their kids.

That’s why we need your help.

Together, we can be there for more young Calgarians and give them the resources they need to build strong communities.

Donate today: https://shawcharityclassic.com/carya