Calgary, AB – The Calgary Public Library is piloting a new service in partnership with Wood’s Homes to deliver mental health support for vulnerable patrons facing mental health challenges and addictions. The Wellness Desk at Central Library will provide free, professional mental health care and community referrals in real-time.

“The Library is evolving to meet the needs of our city during an unprecedented mental health crisis, one which has worsened due to a pandemic,” says Mark Asberg, CEO for Calgary Public Library. “The Wellness Desk will offer a welcoming, safe, and discreet opportunity for all members of the community to seek help with mental health concerns or issues.”
Central Library was chosen to host the pilot due to its centralized location, volume of visitors, and the high-needs population it serves. The Wellness Desk will provide an accessible and critical resource for those who may require immediate, specialized care while on Library premises, or those looking for information and referrals to other services. Any Library visitor will be able to take advantage of the no-cost services the Wellness Desk provides.

The Wellness Desk will be staffed by mental health professionals from Wood’s Homes. They will deliver their expertise and care on behalf of patrons and their loved ones who were confronting challenges before COVID-19, help address the significant demand for support as a result of the pandemic and provide general mental health and addictions guidance.
“Wood’s Homes is proud to be providing mental health services at the Central Library’s new Wellness Desk,” says Bjorn Johansson, CEO for Wood’s Homes. “Service accessibility and immediacy are contributors to improved mental health, especially in these times when many of us need and help and support. We have a longstanding reputation with the community and see this opportunity as another step in ensuring that Calgarians know we are here to help.”

The pilot at Central Library will run from October 6 to December 31, 2020. The Wellness Desk will operate on a drop-in basis during afternoon and early evening hours on weekdays and weekends, adjusting service times to meet the needs of the public. This initiative is generously supported by the City of Calgary, RBC Foundation and donors of the Calgary Public Library Foundation.

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