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10 Places to Volunteer for Mental Health


7 minute read

Danielle Stewart

Mental health and mental illness affect people from all walks of life and in countless ways. While confronting mental health can be overwhelming, there are many ways to support mental health as a volunteer and make an impact in other’s lives. Take a look at some of our partner organizations and find out how you can give your time, skills and abilities to support their mental health and support programs in our community:


Canadian Mental Health Association is a non-profit organization promoting community wellness and supporting people with mental illness, brain injury, and addictions. Based on community needs, staff and volunteers accomplish this through recovery focused support, education, and advocacy.

  • How you can volunteer If you are interested in volunteering at CMHA Alberta Central Region, there are a variety of ways to get involved. You may volunteer to help set up community programs and special events, fundraise, or perhaps serve on our Board of Directors.


Central Alberta Victim and Witness Support provides services to the people of Blackfalds, Clive, Joffre, Springbrook, the Summer Village of Gull Lake, a large portion of Lacombe County, and a large portion of Red Deer County. Victim Support can be provided at the request of a police officer, a referral from another agency, detachment walk-in or phone inquiries.  Trained Victim Support Advocates come to the immediate aid of those whose lives have been shattered by crime or tragedy. This may include someone who has been sexually assaulted, harassed, beaten, robbed, involved in a motor vehicle accident,  who has experienced the sudden death of a loved one or whom has been the victim of a break in. The advocates provide immediate and direct support, compassion, a listening ear, and direction on obtaining support related services. All services are free and confidential. Advocates can provide court preparation and accompany victims to court, as well as track criminal proceedings for the victim, should it be required.

  •  How you can volunteer: There are many ways to get involved. Volunteer advocates who are the first responders, available to provide support during the first few critical hours after an incident. Second, they are looking for individuals to sit on their board who are committed to the operations and success of the organization. Lastly, they are seeking volunteer committee members who can help with events. Applications are required along with a criminal record check.


Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter offers safe refuge, personal counseling, and community support for families experiencing family violence.

  • How you can volunteer: They are looking for mature, responsible, and FUN individuals to help with their Child Care team in-house, in addition to volunteeers to help out volunteer at their events in any number of capacities.


Women’s Outreach Centre works to end family violence and poverty by supporting people in their pursuit of a safer, healthier more secure life. Their mandate is to Help people address domestic abuse and overcome the effects of poverty through the development of effective partnership, relationship, education and programs.

  • How you can volunteer: The Centre continually hosts events throughout the year. Stay tuned to their Facebook and our website for opportunities to help at their great events.


Family Services of Central Alberta provides preventive, supportive, and early intervention services throughout Central Alberta. They offer low barrier counselling services to individuals, couples and families.

  • How you can volunteer: They’re always looking for passionate volunteers to help with their annual Children’s Festival in June, or to help out with their variety of services and programs.


Sylvan Lake Victim Services offers crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the goal of alleviating trauma and reducing the emotional impact of a crisis situation. We also act as a referral service, providing appropriate information and direction to service providers that victims of crime and tragedy may require.

  • How you can volunteer: You can become a Volunteer Advocate, or joining their Board of Directors. Individuals who have been screened for suitability and obtain a RCMP enhanced security clearance. They receive specialized training in over 30 crisis support and intervention situations including: assault, hate crimes, property crimes, robbery, sexual assault, stalking and harassment, family violence, bereavement and sudden death. Advocates have three main goals: to provide assistance, support, information and referral to victims of crime or tragedy through crisis intervention and timely follow up. Advocates do not provide counselling.


Three Hills Victim Services provide victims of crime and tragedy with support, information, and appropriate referrals.

  • How you can volunteer: Give your time as a Victim Services Advocate, helping those in need during a time of crisis and tragedy.


Vantage Community Services helps youth, adults, and families by providing counselling, transitional housing for youth, life skills training, and in-house treatment for mental illness.


Shalom Counselling Centre offers quality counselling for individuals, couples, and families dealing with emotional and relational concerns at subsidized rates.

  • How you can volunteer: There are a few positions available from event planning, community engagement and a gardener!


Suicide Prevention Society offers information, education, support and referral services. We serve Red Deer and the communities of Central Alberta. We provide age appropriate educational programs to children, youth and interested adult groups, as well as referrals and resources to those in need.

  • How you can volunteer: The Suicide Prevention Society is currently looking for individuals to help in their fundraising efforts.

Volunteer Central strives to build a strong, connected and engaged community through volunteerism.

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Downtown Business Spotlight: Tribe

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This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Tribe! This unique restaurant is located right on Ross Street (4930 Ross Street) and offers a menu inspired from places all around the world. We sat down with manager, Brandon Bouchard, to learn more!

What is your business?

Tribe is a restaurant and bar located in the heart of Red Deer’s downtown on the Ross St Patio.

When did your business open?

Our space has been open for roughly 4 years. In that time we’ve expanded and doubled in square footage and also tripled our staff.

What makes your business unique?

We believe we have the “sexiest” room in town. Our guests are often commenting positively on the space and how much they love the warm ambiance. “There’s no other place like this in Red Deer”, “I feel like I’m in another city”, or just “Wow” are the words we hear the most. Our “Modern World Food” is very popular and is inspired from regions around the globe. And one of the main reasons we continue to remain a hot spot in the downtown, we believe, is our staff. Our team is absolutely amazing. Friendly, funny, and flirty… the staff’s number one focus is the guest experience and it shows. Our room is often filled with laughter and huge smiles. Our goal is that no one leaves hungry, and everyone leaves happy!

Our slogan is “Eat a Little. Drink a Little. Flirt a Little. Tell Your Most Awesome Stories.”

What are some products/services that you offer?

Aside from the obvious dine-in and takeout options we also offer private party bookings and can typically cater to groups of easily 40-50 guests. We also offer the occasional theme or event nights such as Tapas nights, Wine Tasting events, Holiday Parties and more!

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Tribe, as well as it’s sister store Sunwork’s Living, are located downtown because Red Deer’s downtown is the place to be! To be surrounded by so many other unique shops and businesses makes being in the area a truly wonderful experience and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

In order for any downtown to be vibrant, the citizens need to occupy that space. With the growing number of retail shops, restaurants and bars, and other services that can be found in the area it’s no wonder folks are visiting the downtown more than ever. Shopping local and supporting small businesses is important now more than ever and with endless locally owned businesses in the area it’s no wonder we are seeing more vibrancy in the area, and we believe this trend will continue to attract NEW businesses downtown.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… most everything you might need or want can be found in one attractive and exciting neighbourhood, and your friends are probably there too.

Looking for some “Modern World Food” for dinner or maybe looking at attending one of their event nights? Check out Tribe’s social media pages and website for more information!





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Penhold Flight Instructor Releases Updated Instruction Manual For the 21st Century

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Sky Wings Aviation founder Dennis Cooper lives to fly.

“2020 marks 50 years of flying for me,” said Cooper in a phone interview.  “I was a cadet and part of the glider program but got my pilots license in 1971 at Cold Lake before I even had my drivers license.”

Cooper later earned his Commercial license under Cecil Sorenson and other seasoned ex-Canadian Air Force pilots who transferred their tremendous knowledge base.  Working with Johnson Air Services and Pultz Aviation, he obtained his instrument rating and began his pilot career in earnest.

“One of the tools I had as a young pilot was the Pultz Instructor Manual and sometimes he (Pultz) would ask me questions and I would offer input,” he remembered.  “The original book was a 3-ring binder and we used that format for a long time at Sky Wings as well.”

Fast forward to the present.

“With current technology, many of our students wanted the manual in an electronic form so now instead of just having a softcover book that gets scuffed, dirty and ripped we now have a hardcover AND an electronic version for use everywhere,” added the instructor.  “Since the original book was written, much had changed.”

Changes to the original include an index which the first book did not have according to Cooper, modified levels of instructors, GPS information which did not exist years ago, procedures and general knowledge brought about by technology.

“We kept the artwork from the original,” said Cooper.  “It’s great and captures what we wanted.  We also added enhanced study and review questions based on feedback from students who have been through testing. The result is now a 558 page Instructors Manual that can follow a pilot from the beginning of their career to their end goal, no matter what that looks like.”

The new updated manual can be used in conjunction with Transport Canada publications.  It can adequately prepare a commercial pilot for the Transport Canada Flight Instructor written examination, the in-flight training and ground instruction, as well as the test flight.

Priced at $99 for the hardcover and $90 for the softcover, the “Cooper Flight Instructor Manual” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and 3 flight suppliers at present.

“I bought Sky Wings Aviation in 1982 and even today I still feel the same when a new student flies for the first time.  I am excited when our students enter the plane, travel the runway and rise into the air for the first time for their first circuit, then return,” said Cooper whose wife Sherry also teaches at the school.  “I enjoy watching the transfer of knowledge from instructor to student, but most significantly, watching them conquer the air just like the Wright Brothers 118 years ago.”

Cooper is not finished yet with 3 more books ready to rewrite for the 21st century.

For more information on Sky Wings Aviation and the 9th Edition of the Cooper Flight Instructors Manual, go to:

Home – Skywings Aviation


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june, 2021

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