Fonds PR4003 - Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division fonds

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Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division fonds

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    • 1981-2018 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    12.07 m textual records
    228 photographs
    16 negatives
    27 transparencies
    VHS, 16" mm, U-matic tapes [3:00:00]
    1" reel to reel
    Cassette tapes [40:17:58]

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    Administrative history

    The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) was established in 1918 by Dr. Clarence M. Hincks and Clifford W. Beers. Originally named the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene, the association has a long history operating as a not-for-profit organization focusing on issues related to mental health, mental illness, substance abuse, and addictions in Canada.

    Hinks’ belief was that mental illness was the underlying cause for the majority of doctors’ visits in the early 1920s. Because of this, Hinks and his colleague Clifford Beers, began the National Committee to advocate for better information and education concerning mental health and mental illness. After a period of growth and development, the committee changed its name to the Canadian Mental Health Association in 1950. It’s updated purpose has since been to ensure the best possible care, treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill and mentally disabled; to strive to prevent mental illness and mental disability; to promote mental health; to cooperate with other agencies and associations working in these related fields; and to urge governments at all levels to take legislative and financial action to further these objectives.

    Alberta’s (Edmonton based) provincial division of the CMHA was inaugurated in 1954 as a result of the National association’s push to decentralize their services at the local level. The Alberta Division has worked towards achieving the association’s National goals while maintaining functional independence in the provincial region. Responsibilities at the Divisional level include: encouraging and supporting branch development; providing consultation and resource material related to a specific needs and activities of the province; defining and monitoring the common provincial standards and conditions for regional organizational membership; identifying, researching, prioritizing, and promotion social policy objectives; engaging in lobbying and liaison with the provincial government and with the federal government where appropriate; facilitating regional co-ordination of communication; promoting the Association through public relations and fund raising; facilitating membership recruitment and providing recognition and encouragement for volunteers; supporting regional administrative functions; and communicating with other provincial agencies.

    The CMHA, Alberta Division is governed by a Board of Directors who set the policies and direction of the association in the province. It consists of eight regionally appointed members, and five members at large. The board typically meets four times per year, including at an annual general meeting. It is the board’s responsibility to elect the division’s executive committee, which consists of a President, Past President, Executive Vice President, and up to four additional Vice Presidents. These officers advise the board in all matters concerning the association’s interests and in the management of its affairs. The executive director is tasked with the day-to-day management of board affairs and is subject to the ultimate authority of the association.

    The divisional association is advised by a number of committees including the professional advisory, finance committees, the suicide information and education center/suicide prevention training program management board, and the Glen Eden camp committee.

    As of 2023, the CMHA, Alberta Division is an active organization with eight regional offices and a Center for Suicide Prevention. There are over 310 staff who facilitate over 100 mental health related programs throughout the province.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of operational and administrative records that document the activities of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division from 1962 to 2018. The operational material consists of executive board minutes at both the divisional and regional level, conference-planning records, audited financial statements, reports, proposals, policies, and procedures. The fonds includes correspondence between the executive and the national association and with various levels of government and associations. The records also relate to a number of CMHA programs such as the Community Friends Program, Leisure Participation Program, Self-Advocacy and Leadership Training (SALT), and their Housing Program.

    The fonds also includes records relating to mental health and illness and include informational posters, official statements, newspaper clippings, and promotional audiovisual material such as commercials and short films.

    The fonds includes educational resources created and acquired by the association on topics related to mental health and mental illness. These records include research findings, informational pamphlets, magazines, journals, literature reviews, handbooks, guides, and newsletters. They are organized by the following subjects: General; Community Reintegration; Community Services; Hospitalization/Long-term Care; History; Legal Aspects of Mental Health – General; Legal Aspects of Mental Health – Diversion; Consumer Survivor Newsletters; Consumer Participation; Values; Stigma; Misc. Resources; Schizophrenia; Suicide; Advocacy; Dependency Disorders/Addictions; Aging/Senior Resources; Abuse Child; Affective Mood Disorders General; Human Rights; Health Care; Homelessness/Poverty; Health Promotion; Housing; Guardianship.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division donated records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta three times between 2012 and 2018.


    Original order has been retained.

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        Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is not available.

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        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR2012.0584, PR2013.0258, PR2018.1557

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            Information from the Administrative History sourced from: [Accessed January 25, 2023]

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