Our Partner posts showcase some of the accomplishments and milestones that our partners have achieved and highlight how they help make a difference in our communities. Holly Regel, director of social impact partnerships at ATB answers a few questions about their partnership with McDougall House and highlights the work they have been doing behind the scenes with some of the programs they are involved with including ATBUp, the Calgary Distress Centre, and the Social Progress Imperative index as part of their Greater Good strategy.
We originally became aware of McDougall House and their important work through Jim Drinkwater, who is a Board member of McDougall House and retired Board member at ATB Financial. The connection to ATB’s focus on mental health was clear, and we became a new partner in early 2021.
Mental health and addiction supports and services were a big need before the pandemic, and as we all know, the demand has only increased over the last couple of years.
One reason we care about this issue is the simple fact that mental health affects everyone. As an employer of more than 5,000 team members, and a business serving hundreds of thousands of Albertans, we think that creating opportunities for people to overcome their unique challenges and thrive is pretty important. On a deeper level, we see this as part of ATB’s commitment to the greater good of our province, and in fact, have made access to mental health one of three pillars in our Greater Good strategy (more on that below).
Particularly with McDougall House, we love the care they demonstrate for the women they serve, their evidence-based approach, and their connections to other organizations across the province to ensure better outcomes for everyone.
Mental health is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts, and something we have prioritized for a number of years in supporting our team members. We feel that mental health is one of the biggest opportunities to uplift the wellbeing of Albertans, a theory supported by data from the Social Progress Imperative index ATB commissioned in Alberta (similar to GDP, but as an indicator of social, rather than economic health).
Access to mental health is one of three areas where ATB is focusing our efforts to help solve problems through our Greater Good strategy that was introduced earlier this year through the ATB Up campaign. ATB Up encouraged Albertans to engage in a series of simple, fun challenges designed to promote individual mental health while also supporting mental health programming in Alberta. Launched in March amid wintry weather and a global pandemic, we see ATB Up as the beginning of a larger movement for a brighter, more prosperous future for Alberta.
Along with McDougall House, we’re partnering with a number of not for profits that are doing amazing work to elevate mental health in Alberta, including the Mental Health Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association (provincial and local chapters), Calgary Counselling Centre, and the Distress Centre.
When we first met with the Calgary Distress Centre in 2017, we were inspired by the crucial role they play for people in crisis and the potential to make a positive impact. Volunteers are vital to this mission, and so we decided to support the valuable resources, training, and mentorship provided through their volunteer program; we’ve been partnering with them ever since!