Nov. 22, 2017

$3.5-million alumni gift establishes state-of-the-art University of Calgary Psychology Clinic

Generosity allows UCalgary to provide affordable mental health support to Calgarians 'regardless of background, income or circumstance'

The clinical psychology program at the University of Calgary will now house a state-of-the-art, in-house psychology clinic thanks to the generosity of two University of Calgary alumni.

The gift commitment from Lori Egger and Steve Laut will provide increased training opportunities for clinical psychology graduate students under the supervision of doctoral-level registered psychologists. Operating on the second floor of the Education Classroom Block building, the University of Calgary Psychology Clinic will also provide a sophisticated research environment for faculty and graduate students.

Additionally, the clinic will welcome community members from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and provide access to evidence-based assessment and treatment services including individual, couple, and group therapy; diagnostic assessment; psychoeducational assessment and neuropsychological assessment.

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon, left, and Faculty of Arts Dean Richard Sigurdson celebrate the opening of the clinic Tuesday with donors Lori Egger and Steve Laut.

President Elizabeth Cannon, Dean Richard Sigurdson, with donors Lori Egger and Steve Laut.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

“This generous gift will allow our graduate students and faculty to learn through hands-on experiences and greatly enhance our clinical psychology program,” says President Elizabeth Cannon. “The impact of this in-house psychology clinic will also extend beyond our campus to support mental health initiatives in the community.”

Egger was a practising psychologist in Calgary for more than 20 years and is a triple alumna with a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Science and a doctorate in psychology. She sees the clinic as a valuable resource not only for students, but also for those who need care. “This clinic is important to us because it will provide affordable mental health support to anyone in Calgary, regardless of their background, income or circumstance,” she says. “It will also provide students with important mentorship and learning opportunities that will strengthen their ability to be future practitioners.”

Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from UCalgary. He values the importance of providing high-quality education to the next generation of leaders in the psychology field. “The clinic provides another way for the university community to have social impact beyond its walls, by sharing its knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the Calgary community,” he says.

University of Calgary establishes in-house psychology clinic

The university’s clinical psychology program provides students with a layered learning experience, integrating academic knowledge, research skill and clinical training. Program graduates are leaders in clinical science and professional practice and are equipped with skills to bring their applied learnings to the front line of the health care industry. It is the only accredited program of its kind in Southern Alberta. The new psychology clinic will support students in this competitive program to obtain the required number of supervised hours of practice.

“The clinic will allow students to work innovatively by providing us with the opportunity to apply our research and pilot new and potentially groundbreaking treatments under the supervision of expert faculty,” says PhD student Andrew Kim. “It means a lot to have such generous donors who are passionate, not only about improving the mental health of Calgarians, but also about training the next generation of clinical psychologists.”

The University of Calgary Psychology Clinic supports one of the institution’s six strategic research themes — Brain and Mental Health — as well as the bold vision and recommendations from the Campus Mental Health Strategy.

With this gift, Egger and Laut join the more than 10,300 UCalgary alumni who are contributing directly to Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, a $1.3-billion fundraising initiative publicly launched by the university in April 2016. The campaign, which supports the institution’s strategic vision, is currently more than two-thirds of the way toward its goal.