Cornerstone Counselling was born in the basement of Bonnie Doon Baptist Church of Edmonton in 1977. It was founded by Reverend Dr. Ernest Runions and Dr. Doug Spinney who had a vision for a Christian counselling agency that could help people during life’s most difficult moments. They believed that by providing affordable and professional mental health care, people would heal and have better lifelong outcomes.
When people in the community learned that subsidized counselling services were available in the church, they started calling to ask if they too could receive this valuable help. Our founders believed that everyone was worthy of love and acceptance, so they opened their doors to the community. Soon, the little counselling office was filled to capacity. It was quickly realized that they had tapped into a deep community need. They moved the counselling office out of the church and established it as an independent charity with a mission to serve the whole community by providing faith-based and secular counselling. Thanks to these early visionaries, Cornerstone has thrived and is continuing to help the next generation with compassionate mental health care.
Today, Cornerstone is one of the largest not-for-profit providers of subsidized counselling, psycho-educational workshops, and psychotherapy training in the Edmonton area. We serve the entire community from children as young as four years old to seniors and offer fee subsidies from our Way to Wellness Fund. Over the years, we estimate that we have helped approximately 85,000 people improve their lives and find their way to wellness.
In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge that the land on which we live, work, and prosper is Treaty 6 territory, the ancestral and traditional meeting grounds and gathering place for the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene, and Nakota Sioux. We honour and respect the resilience and history of the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have stewarded this land for thousands of years.
As a counselling agency, we recognize the importance of cultural humility and understanding in providing effective support and healing to our clients. We believe it is our responsibility, as settlers on this land, to actively work towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We commit ourselves to continuous education and learning about the history and ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples, and to incorporating this understanding into our practice. We will actively support Indigenous peoples, connecting our clients to Indigenous-led and informed resources and support.
We acknowledge that the work of healing and reconciliation is ongoing, and we commit ourselves to being a part of this journey as we strive to provide a safe and welcoming space for all.