ATU 583 – Mental Health Resources for Laid Off Members – Blog

It goes without saying that being laid off is stressful. It is at the forefront of the minds of the Officers and Staff in our office each day as we continue to work towards recalls and recall extension. We understand that waiting for information can be agonizing and it takes a toll on a person’s mental health. We have gathered some free of charge resources for laid off Members to consider if they are struggling – many of these would also be appropriate for teens or spouses to consider as well:

1. Distress Center – “Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) has provided 24-hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970. We do this through our 24- hour crisis line, email, daily chat, and daily text for our youth. We also have professional counselling for clients with issues that cannot be resolved over the phone”

Phone Number: 403-266-HELP (4357) and ask for an intake to counselling
Online Intake Form: CLICK HERE
Daily Text Messaging (for teens):  587-333-2724
Daily Online Chat (for teens): –
“What to expect after filling out the intake form: Our intake coordinator will contact you by phone in 3-4 days to ask you some questions and set up an appointment if our counselling is a good fit for you. You need access to a phone. We cannot communicate with you by email because of the privacy limitations with it.”

Counselling info: “We provide free, general, short-term crisis counselling at Distress Centre. One to six counselling sessions are provided to help support an individual, family or couple coping with a crisis.”

2. Owl Pod – Free Mental Health Clinic
-Covered by Alberta Health Services – no cost to Albertans anywhere in the province.
-Online Virtual Appointments Available 7 Days a Week.
-Have your doctor fax the referral form to Owl Pod at 587-834-6704
-Referral form found here: CLICK HERE

3. Wellness Together: This is the same company that allows active Members to access EFAP. They have put together free resources to ensure those that take the first step, get the help/assistance they need.
Website: Click “Take that first step”

It is highly recommended you set up an account now while you are hopefully feeling okay, so when you need this service you can just log in. There is a short wellness quiz similar to one given by a GP to assess how you are feeling mental health wise. It is best to be honest.

Phone Number: Call 1-866-585-0445 to speak with a counsellor.
Texting: Text COVID to 741741 to connect with a trained volunteer crisis
responder for support. This option is for crisis. Our admin tested it and it takes less than a couple minutes to connect to a live human being to speak to.

4. Resources for those who are no longer accessing CERB: CLICK HERE

This includes info on if you need financial assistance after CERB ending and also information related to EI.

5. The Canadian Mental Health Association is holding a town hall for Canadians living with Major Depressive Disorder. Please see details below, including how to sign up in one easy step!

On Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. MST, the Canadian Mental Health Association will be hosting a town hall for Canadians living with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The town hall will discuss the key findings from our research and your thoughts about them. Further, you’ll help us identify how best to support those living with MDD based on these findings. The town hall will be hosted via the Zoom platform and will be available to all English-speaking Canadians who wish to attend.

If you wish to attend CMHA, Alberta Division’s MDD town hall, please email and request the Zoom link. 

For more information on their MDD research project

We cannot stress enough how important it is to look after your mental health. Not only are laid off Members dealing with a pandemic and the uncertainty and stress that brings, they are also facing the loss of their employment for however long a period.

We continue to meet with management and have a meeting on Thursday January 28, 2021 specifically to discuss recall rights/extensions. We are doing everything we can to bring our Members back to work and were it solely up to us, everyone would be back already.

We understand it may be difficult to see what is being done, especially when there are not constant updates. We strongly recommend our Members seek out some of the assistance above to help express their anxieties to a professional if that’s what they choose. We remain available to speak to laid off Members should they want to reach out to us also. Contact Info Here

We are not done fighting to bring our laid of Members back.

(EFAP resource information is on this post – this is relevant to active Employees/Members who wish to seek assistance) CLICK HERE

8 Responses

  • Thank you for your continued support and efforts to help bring members back to work. I thought it might be helpful to share some information with laid-off members. I have been on EI (EI CERB then EI in October) since being laid-off June 3rd, 2020. I was among the lowest of seniority having badge 2508 in CS. Anyways, I was recently approved through Manpower Calgary for the Driving Back to Work to Work Program, receiving a grant which covers the cost to obtain my Class 1 License. While my first choice and that of many fellow drivers who were laid-off is probably to return to CT, if funding is still available for the grant, others may want to apply through Manpower to build on and maintain their commercial driving skills in other ways. Good luck and maybe we’ll see each other again soon.

  • Sorry for the typo…the official name is the Driving Back to Work Grant Program and it’s provided through Alberta Transportation, Safety and Policy Division and administered by Manpower Services in Calgary. Participants must currently be on EI to receive the grant.

  • How confident are you guys that you can get laid-off members a one year extension for recall. Please don’t shine me on. Should I just move on? It was obviously a good job while it lasted but I left a good job to get it. We blame COVID of course

    • Hi Henry,
      The Officers have a meeting next Thursday as per this post. We will know more then. We know it’s frustrating to wait but unfortunately we don’t have any information until a meeting occurs and we see where that goes.

  • Hi there,
    Is there a difference between laid off permanent operators and probationary? I too was laid off back in May and was wondering how the meeting went on that Thursday. I’m crossing my fingers though but not holding my breath either. I understand there are budgetary constraints with council especially with ridership down.

    • There is no difference with respect to recall rights or re hire rights. As noted in a separate posts, re hire rights have been extended from the point where recall rights end if not recalled, to December 31, 2021.

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