Nancy McCalder (née Derbyshire) is a graduate of the Honours Co-op Recreation and Leisure Studies program and lived at St. Paul's in 1973-74. Recently retired, Nancy spent more than 25 years working in mental health awareness and advocacy in Alberta. As Executive Director of The Support Network, she worked with Alberta Health Services to create the Wellness Network, Alberta's first peer-to-peer mental health support service.
For much of her career, Nancy was a leading advocate to increase funding for, and accessibility to, mental health services in Alberta. Her work was instrumental in the development and expansion of services for Albertans, including the 24 Hour Distress Line, Suicide Grief Support and 211, a way-finding telephone and web service to enhance wellness for users. She also was part of a national committee that is working towards the development of a national suicide prevention line.
As Executive Director of The Support Network, Nancy led a team of volunteers, professionals, and practitioners to deliver daily supports for people in crisis who seek information, and for those impacted by a loss to suicide in the city of Edmonton. After retirement, Nancy established the McCalder Mental Wellness Foundation to continue her support of mental health services in her community.
In recognition of her long service to the people of Alberta as a leading advocate, practitioner, and for working to eliminate the stigma of mental health, Nancy was recently named recipient of the 2016 True Leadership Award by the Lieutenant Governor's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction.