Community news

NOTE: Check with each of the following organizations closer to the dates indicated below to determine whether their event has been cancelled or will take place.

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Toronto-based National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) will offer a free Webinar on Wednesday, December 14, from 5 to 6:30 PM, on the topic of Harm Reduction for the Holidays.  “This webinar will explore why harm reduction is a valid and necessary approach in the context of eating disorders.  Attendees will learn harm reduction strategies that can be used this holiday season.”  Click here for more information and to register.

See also: TED-ED talk from May 2022 entitled Why Are Eating Disorders So Hard to Treat? (Link.  Duration: 4:32)

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The Ontario Caregiver Organization’s (OCO) latest 90Second Caregiver offering discusses Maintaining Friendships.  “Sometimes, it’s what a person doesn’t say that hurts the most.  Friends who have been by your side for many years may struggle to support you in your role as a caregiver, especially if they have never experienced caregiving.”  Click here.

The OCO also offers an extensive video library of its recorded Webinars.  Visit the OCO YouTube channel to view the complete playlist.

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The Royal’s Family Information and Support Groups resumed in September.  The program offers a variety of resources to meet caregivers’ needs for information, education, and support through their mental health journey via Zoom sessions held on Tuesday evenings at 6 PM.  Every group has a different theme, but all focus on providing support and resources to families and loved ones of those with mental health challenges.  Groups are open to all and free to attend, although registration is required.  To preserve confidentiality, sessions are not recorded.  Click here to find a list of upcoming groups.

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Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), a clearinghouse for evidence-based information on ADHD based in Lanham, MD, USA, published an article entitled Homework Help for ADHD, and an associated fact sheet which provides suggestions on how to make a child’s workspace and homework routine more efficient and productive.  Click here.

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Sun Life Assurance’s Lumino Health offers How to Manage Back-to-school Anxiety.  “The past couple of school years have been tough for children and parents.  Many families continue to deal with anxiety about the year ahead. Here are some tips that can help both you and your kids prepare.”  Click here.

As well: How Post-secondary Students Can Manage Their Mental Health.  “The post-secondary student experience was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.  A psychotherapist shares tips on how students can emerge stronger and how family and friends can help.”  Click here.

Also: How to Communicate You’re Struggling with Your Mental Health.  “If you’re struggling with your mental health, reaching out for support is important.  A psychologist shares why and who to talk to.”  Click here.

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The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) published an article entitled Preparing Your Child for Back-to-school which deals with the essential role sleep plays in a child’s mental health.  “Not getting enough sleep alters children’s cognitive function and their ability to regulate emotions, impacting their overall well-being.  If left unaddressed, this can increase the risk of developing mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression that may cause further sleep disruption.”  Click here.

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McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate, offers a free Webinar on the topic of Addressing and Preventing Self-Harm in Kids & Teens.  Dr. Michael Hollander shares signs and symptoms that there may be self-harm occurring in a child, offers methods to teach loved ones better coping mechanisms, provides insight into when it may be time to seek professional help, and answers questions about self-harm in children and adolescents.  (Duration: 57:35)  Click here.

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Burnout Test: Am I Burned Out?  This short quiz from PsychCentral is designed for anyone who wishes to learn about burnout and whether they are experiencing it.  “Burnout is a state of mental or physical exhaustion due to continued exposure to stress.  People who experience burnout often feel like they are ‘running on empty,’ meaning they have nothing left to give to the situation that is causing them so much stress.  While burnout is often caused by career-related stress, it is also common among parents, caregivers, and students.  When someone experiences burnout, it is unlikely that the condition will go away on its own.  Prolonged burnout can lead to more serious issues such as clinical depression.”  Click here.

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The Homelessness Learning Hub (HLB), based at York University in Toronto, has published a 12-page Self-Care Starter Kit which explains the importance of taking time to look after oneself, and how to build a self-care plan to improve one’s quality of life.  Click here.

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The Many Faces of Recovery by Mahesh Menon, PhD, RPsych, reprinted from the Recovery: Living Your Bestish Life issue of Visions Journal, 2022, 17 (4), pp. 5-6.

What does recovery mean for each of us?  This is a question I ponder on a regular basis, on my own and in conversations with clients and colleagues.  It sometimes feels like the answers are clearer for some physical illnesses—when I’ve had a cold, I have recovered when my immune system has fought off whatever germ caused the illness and the symptoms subside.  However, with mental illness and addictions, the answers are rarely that clear-cut.”  Click here.

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San Francisco-based Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) has published a fact sheet entitled Depression and Caregiving.  “Many people with symptoms of depression don’t describe themselves as feeling depressed.  Some people don’t recognize the symptoms in themselves, while others may have a hard time admitting they feel depressed.  It can be embarrassing to talk about.  An individual may feel like a failure or that people will judge them.  But here’s what you need to know: for caregivers, depression is more common than you might think, and it’s a normal response to a difficult situation.  It is not unusual for caregivers to develop mild or more serious depression as a result of the constant demands they face while providing care.”  Click here.

As well: A new FCA fact sheet for caregivers, entitled What If Something Happens to Me?, “covers this important topic with information on how to manage your concerns, how to identify a backup caregiver, and what information to include so the backup caregiver can provide the best care possible in this situation.  The fact sheet also includes two checklists to help you plan.”  Click here.

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Wellness Together Canada  This free online service was launched in response to growing mental health and substance use concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Designed to support people across Canada, as well as Canadians living abroad, in both official languages, the service is supported by a wide network of organizations with specialized experience in wellness, with funding from the Government of Canada.  Services range from basic wellness information, to one-on-one sessions with a counsellor, to participating in a community of support.  Whatever the need, this service will point towards the best resources available.  For example, click here for resources related to Worry or here for Coping with Stress.

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The LifeLine Canada Foundation (TLC) aids in suicide reduction across Canada by raising awareness of risk factors, providing access to online resources, and promoting local programs to build mental health resilience for all.  The guides, tools, and resources throughout its site represent a compilation of resources from various sources across the Globe.  Along with constantly developing new positive mental health initiatives, The Foundation presently runs three main programs: The LifeLine Website, The LifeLine Mobile App, and Companion Paws Therapy Dogs.

The LifeLine Mobile App is a free national service offering access and guidance to support for those suffering in crisis and those who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one from suicide.  The app also provides awareness education and prevention strategies to guide people in crisis all across the globe.  NOTE: TLC is not a crisis hotline.

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Steps to Justice, a guide to law in Ontario, has developed three flowcharts that explain what happens if the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) gets a report about a child (Link), decides

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Winnipeg-based Achieve Centre for Leadership Institute’s (ACLI) Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) offers a series of Audio Exercises for Managing Stress and Anxiety through mindful awareness, breathing, and simple movements (Link) for adults, Getting Grounded in the Present (Duration: 3:46) and Embodied Breathing Exercise (8:21), as well as for children, Cocoa Breathing (3:03) and Wiggle to Wind Down (3:18).

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The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) offers a two-page infographic: Mental Health and Substance Use during COVID-19: Spotlight on Canadian Households with Young Children. It includes several useful suggestions on how to cope during the pandemic.  (Link)

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From its base in New York City, Verywell Mind’s mission is to help individuals find balance amid the chaos of daily life.  It provides up-to-date, evidence-based information on mental health and psychology from its library of 5,500+ articles.  Sample articles include: Bipolar Disorder, How to Deal with Emotional Abuse, Stress Management, and Violence and Abuse.

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NOTE: The Oasis in Kanata does not endorse the above sessions, programs, research projects, or their content, nor does it derive any benefit from the organizations or individuals involved, but merely wishes to bring the above to your attention.

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