February is Psychology Month 

By Janet Stewart, Eastside Community Mental Health Services Program Manager.

February is….Psychology Month. 

This year’s theme is ‘The Value of Choosing a Psychologist’. 

The goal of Psychology Month is to raise awareness of the role that psychology plays in our lives, our schools, our communities and our employment. It provides a good opportunity for public education and promotion of the profession. 

Mental health professionals come in all shapes and sizes. At Wood’s Homes, treatment and support teams include a range of interdisciplinary professionals – social workers, psychologists, counsellors, youth and family counsellors, pediatricians, psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, creative arts therapists and on and on. 

When supporting families with problems, big and small, it can be said that many heads are better than one. Holistic clinical interventions and practical daily activities – those that consider mental AND social factors – are more meaningful to families. Families often say, “our story is very complex”. And they are right. And it feels right that a team of professionals with a variety of expertise and experience tackles their problem. 

Many care and treatment teams across the agency include the voice of a psychologist. The psychologists at Wood’s Homes have chosen this field to improve the mental health of the children, youth, and families in our community. Psychology mixes research, practice, and education into assessments and treatment. These pillars also drive interactions with colleagues and team members as well as clients. 

A psychologist is continuously focused on the most current research in their area of expertise as well as how to communicate this up-to-date information to those around them. Juggling these mandates of the field, and sprinkling in advocacy on current issues, can keep psychologists on their toes. 

For example, Dr. Gina Ko, a long-time community therapist and now volunteer at Eastside Community Mental Health Services, launched her own podcast, Against the Tides of Racism. Gina recognized that clients respect, and have a deep trust in their mental health professionals. She felt that it was her responsibility to give voice and honour her clients’ experiences with racism growing up and during the COVID-19 pandemic. To listen to a psychologist who is balancing her responsibilities of advocacy, education, and mental health practice, visit: www.againstracismpodcast.com 

Families looking for mental health support can choose a psychologist at the ‘Find a Psychologist’ tab on the College of Alberta Psychologists website. Please click here. 

They can also call Eastside Community Mental Health Services at 403-299-9699 for help with navigating the system. 

Choosing a mental health professional can be daunting but there is help to find the right support at the right time.