‘We can really change the course of a life’ – Metro US

‘We can really change the course of a life’

Four years after seeking help from the Alex, client Chris Bird said his life and the lives of his wife and kids have changed dramatically.

At the organization’s annual general meeting yesterday, Bird explained that he was an alcoholic, battling suicidal thoughts.

“I’d lost everything; my home, my wife, my kids,” said the father of five. “Our support, our health, our well-being began there [with the Alex].” Bird said he and his family continue to use their services, from health care to counseling.

Shelley Heartwell, the program’s executive director, said the Birds’ success story was just one of many.

“It’s exciting to know that we can really change the course of a life and make a difference,” she said.

Police Chief Rick Hanson said it’s important to continue to develop community partnerships.

“You can’t have systems working in isolation,” said Hanson, adding the Calgary Police Service must also do their part in assisting the mentally ill. “The money that’s invested in these programs pays off.”

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