The death of a loved one is difficult enough, but when a homicide occurs, the pain, anger and grief are compounded by the realization that a precious life was taken intentionally. You may experience devastating emotional feelings, as well as physical reactions and financial stressors. As homicide is a criminal act, the complexities of the criminal justice system and media attention can cause additional stress. The Victim Assistance Support Team is here to assist you through this challenging time.
Homicide and Grieving: a Survivor's Guide
Counselling resources for adults
Alberta Health Services - Grief Support Program
- The Grief Support Program provides individual and group grief counseling.
The Compassionate Friends of Canada, Inc
- Peer support for those experiencing the death of a child.
Suicide - Suicide Services Bereavement Support - Calgary Mental Health Association
24-hour crisis line: 403-266-HELP (4357)
- 24-hour Information and support.
- Access to free counseling services for individuals, groups and families.
24-hour line: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
- Crisis and support line for those who have lost someone to suicide or those having suicidal thoughts.
24-hour crisis line: 1-403-264-8336 (TEEN)
- 24-hour Information and support for teens.
- Peer support 5 - 10 p.m. daily, online or over the phone.
Calgary Counselling Centre
Telephone: 403-691-5991 (business hours)
- Long term counseling for individuals, families or couples.
Eastside Family Counseling Centre
24-hour crisis line: 403-269-9699
Address: 255, 495 36 St. N.E., Northgate Mall
- No fee - immediate walk-in counseling for youth, individuals and families.
- Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Counselling resources for children and youth
- Professional grief and trauma counsellors specialize in child and teen friendly techniques that build resilience and renew hope.
Kids Help Phone
24-hour crisis line: 1-800-688-6868
- 24-hour online and counseling available for those 5-20 years old.
Resources for investigations
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
- Information and the role of the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program (Alberta Solicitor General)
Telephone: 780-427-7217 or toll-free through Service Alberta 310-0000
- Death benefit available to persons who paid the funeral costs of a victim who died as a result of a violent crime in Alberta. The application must meet the criteria for funeral costs to be reimbursed. The program is administered under the Victims of Crime Act and Regulation.
- Financial Benefits Program also has benefits for victims injured as a result of violent crime in Alberta. If you were injured as a result of a violent crime, or have psychological injuries as a result of witnessing a crime that resulted in death, complete the injury application.
Canada Pension Plan
- The death benefit is a one-time payment to, or on behalf of, the estate of a deceased Canada Pension Plan contributor.
- The survivor's pension is a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse or common-law partner of a deceased contributor.
- The children's benefit is a monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased contributor.
- You must complete an application form.
Alberta Family and Social Services
Telephone: 310-0000 toll-free in Alberta
- In the province of Alberta, no one is ever denied the dignity of a funeral. If a family is unable to pay, the government department of Alberta Family and Social Services can provide assistance for basic funeral services, a casket, and cemetery or cremation fees.
Resources for court
Victim Assistance Support Team Court Support Program
- Providing information on the criminal justice system; court updates; court orientation and court accompaniment for families of homicide victims, as well as witnesses subpoenaed to testify at preliminary hearings or trial.
Child Witness Court Preparation Court Program
- Providing tools and resources to help children and teens prepare for their day in court.
Calgary Crown Prosecutor’s Office - Public Assistance Unit
Telephone: 403-297-3912 / 403-297-3913
- Providing information on court proceedings to victims and witnesses during the Criminal Justice process. We liaise between the witnesses and the crown prosecutors as they are unable to communicate directly.
National Parole Board - Prairies Regional Office
Victims information line: 1-888-616-5277
- By law, victims of crime have a right to certain information about the person who harmed them while that person is under the jurisdiction of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC).
- Information is not provided automatically to victims. Victims wishing to receive information about the person who harmed them, must register with the PBC or the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). To register, go to the website.