When K. moved from Ottawa to Calgary in 2015, she lost her birth certificate in the process. Struggling with anxiety, depression and PTSD from past trauma, K. describes herself as totally isolated during those first weeks in Alberta. She rarely left her home, she couldn’t bring herself to talk about her situation with anyone and she knew she was on the verge of needing hospitalization.
It was a challenge to find health care in an unfamiliar city with no documentation except for an out-of-province healthcare card. “I hadn’t even been living here for a month. I didn’t know where to go,” K. says. Finally, she decided to visit CUPS, where she'd heard she could find help getting new identity documents.
Beyond health care
When K. arrived at CUPS and described her situation, she found help with more than just her documentation problem. She was invited to meet with a family doctor who later connected her with a counsellor and a psychiatrist. CUPS also helped K. to complete her AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) application and referred her to other community resources, including an art program that continues to aid her recovery.
Resources under one roof
Because CUPS programs and services are integrated, it’s been easy for K. to find the ongoing care she needs without her anxiety being a barrier. “My doctor, my psychiatrist and my counsellor all work together, which has been really good for me,” she says. “I don’t always have to tell my story three times.”
K. finds she’s often recommending CUPS to other people she meets. “I’ve found such a good support system at CUPS,” she says. “You’re not just a number. They treat you with respect and dignity.”