Mental Health Founation Embracing Recovery Icon

Embracing Recovery

More inclusive care gives families hope for managing mental illness.

As the Mental Health Commission of Canada describes, “hope is the foundation on which a journey of recovery is built.”

That’s what you helped us give families this year: a feeling of empowerment, a sense of control, the ability to anticipate positive outcomes for their loved ones. Hope.

It’s perhaps the most important mindshift that needs to occur before change is possible. Thanks to donor support, the two programs below are bringing newfound hope of recovery to families in Edmonton.

As Long as I’m Living: Love You Forever

Twice a year, FAMI (Families Supporting Adults with Mental Illness) Alberta hosts Love You Forever workshops, which teach basic information about mental illness and skills to navigate the system.

These workshops prepare caregivers to—like the Robert Munsch book they're named after—support their loved ones no matter how difficult it can sometimes be.

In 2017 -18

3

guest speakers

100+

family members attended

11

community support agencies

99%

of participants found workshop valuable

Skye Barbic presenting

The Possibility of Being Green: FAMI Alberta’s Love You Forever

Sharing the language of recovery with families, Skye Barbic breathes new life into how we explain mental illness to ourselves and the world around us.

Read The Story

Family Connections

Families spend significantly more time with their children than mental health professionals. Family Connections makes the most of that time by equipping parents to support their children at home.

Family Connections is offered in coordination with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, and was made possible this year by the generosity of the RBC Foundation.


  • Free to attend
  • 8 skill-building workshop sessions hosted
  • 8 new facilitators in training
  • Over 100 family members participated
  • Family members came to support loved ones as young as 9 and as old as 70

parent child icon

Did You Know?

Research suggests that enhancing caregiving capacity has a clinically significant impact on the course of their relative’s mental illness

Before and After Family Connections

Current Stress Level

Current Coping Level

Cindy Gerdes

Jumping Over the Bush: Bringing Family Connections to Alberta

Inspired by her experience supporting her son through borderline personality disorder, Cindy Gerdes is redefining the family’s role in mental health care.

Read Her Story

Learning to Speak the Same Language

Caregivers attend Family Connections to help improve the lives of their loved ones, but oftentimes it also changes theirs. Meet 3 families whose lives were touched by the program.

Yello Quote

"Nice to know we aren’t alone in tackling this challenge.”

Love You Forever participant