Who We Are

Founding Patron: Col. [Ret’d] the Hon. Donald S. Ethell

There are many people in Alberta from all regions, all ages and all walks of life who have dealt with mental health concerns. I’m one of them. My own experiences with post traumatic stress disorder have allowed me to see the stigma and misunderstanding that can surround the issue.


“I’ve also come to appreciate the many remarkable Albertans from across our province who are working to deliver valued mental health programs, to enhance public awareness, and to encourage recovery, hope and understanding.


“This Circle is intended to shine a light on the progress we’re making and to encourage even greater success in the future.”


-His Honour, Col. (Ret’d) the Honourable
Donald S. Ethell 

Honourary Patron: Her Honour, the Hon. Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 


Founding Patron: Col. [Ret’d] the Hon. Donald S. Ethell

The Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction is a charitable organization dedicated to helping reduce stigma related to mental illness and addiction, furthering public knowledge of the topic, shining a light on the positive work taking place across the province, and giving hope and comfort to those affected by letting them know that they are not alone.


The Honourable Donald S. Ethell, founded the Circle as his legacy project. On May 11, 2010, in his inaugural speech as the Queen’s representative in Alberta, Colonel. (ret.)

Ethell spoke of his wish to make mental health an area of considered focus during his tenure. In light of his experience with post­ traumatic stress disorder, Colonel Ethell is highly sympathetic to Albertans of all ages and walks of life who are living with mental health issues. Individuals who are interested in being proactive about increasing awareness and understanding about mental health can also participate as volunteers with the Circle.

Circle activities include an annual awards component. The True Awards are designed to offer encouragement and recognition to Albertans who have shown commitment, passion and ingenuity in improving the lives of those living with mental illness and/or addiction. The inaugural True Awards ceremony was held at Government House in Edmonton on October 4, 2012.

The Circle also strives to promote greater understanding and work to combat stigma by organizing and sponsoring educational opportunities – such as lectures, seminars and round table discussions – so that Albertans can learn about mental health issues and their impact the health and well­being of individuals and society as a whole.

The Circle focuses on encouraging collaboration and cooperation among the various Alberta organizations and initiatives that deal with mental health and addiction.