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ADVAS / Updates  / Strengthening Natural Supports


Strengthening Natural Supports


Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS), with the support of the Calgary Foundation, is asking the community to join them in co-creating a toolkit to strengthen support for victims of crime and tragedy.

Acknowledging the incredible impact that Natural Supports have on the thousands of people who are victims assisted by ADVAS each year, the organization is aiming to provide information, resources, and connections to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support offered.

Deb Reid, Acting Executive Director at ADVAS, says the unique program is much needed in Airdrie and Rocky View County, “People who have been victims of a crime or tragedy rely on the people closest to them on their hardest days, and we see the impacts of great support and not great support in our work.” Inappropriate or ineffective support can further injure a person, limit their access to services that will help them to heal, impede their healing, and create safety risks that could lead to injury or death. Appropriate and effective support can ensure that a person who is a victim is safe, can access the right supports for their needs, and is able to follow through on their to do list.

Natural Supports are critical, but it’s a hard job,” notes Lori Rehill, a long-time advocate for victims services in Alberta, “This isn’t something that you just go from work or home life to being a good support without any planning or intent. Being a good Natural Support, and working to limit the risk to your loved one, means preparation, listening, and being thoughtful in the information and opinions you share back.” Rehill adds that while most people don’t aim to injure those already suffering, “All it takes is a careless remark to really hurt someone and set them back.

The organization is soliciting feedback from the general public through a number of touchpoints, including a survey that they would like you to take part in. The survey takes 15 minutes to complete, and your responses will be used in creating the new toolkit.

The new toolkit will launch this Spring.

Registration for the January 30, 3022, Group Conversation has closed. Please watch this space for our next scheduled event.



Strengthening Natural Supports

The Subtle Art of Helping

We are pleased to share the entire contents of The Subtle Art of Helping here in a format that can be easily translated for your needs.


Founded in 1992, Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS) is a registered charitable organization that provides 24-hour crisis response and support to people who are experiencing or who have experienced crime and/ or tragedy.

ADVAS listens, comforts and supports victims when the RCMP requests our services and during follow-up calls. We attend homes, crime, accident and incident scenes and the RCMP detachment. ADVAS offers Court Support Services when people who have experienced crime, tragedy or loss are required to make court appearances.

The people we help are given information to help them with their immediate concerns, with their cases and through the criminal justice system when charges are laid. ADVAS ensures that people receive timely information regarding Arrests, Conditions, Court Dates, Victim Impact Statements, Financial Benefits, Requesting Restitution, Crime Prevention, and Enhanced RCMP Safety Planning.

ADVAS connects people with appropriate community supports and provides referral services with other community agencies and organizations such as Counselling, Distress Centers, Suicide Crisis Lines, Shelters, Medical Examiner, Social Services, Other Victim Assistance Units, and more.

We are grateful for the support of the public. You can make a donation and learn about volunteering at

Warm Hugs, Hot Tea, Fresh Baked Cookies and The Subtle Art Of Helping by Airdrie And District Victims Assistance Society

Published by Airdrie And District Victims Assistance Society | 2 Highland Park Way NE | Airdrie, Alberta, Canada T4A 2L5 |

Copyright © 2022 Airdrie And District Victims Assistance Society

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by copyright law. For permissions contact: 403.945.7290

Concept, Design and Content by Conor Tapp, | With content from Scott McLean, PhD, BCFT, RSW | Created with the support of advocates, community members, law enforcement, clinical and other professionals in Airdrie and Rocky View County. | Published with the financial support of The Calgary Foundation.