News

1.  The Friendship Support Group, a peer support group of adults living with mental illness sponsored by the Mental Illness Caregivers’ Association (MICA), has released its Activity Calendar for the month of August.  The Group meets every Wednesday for an evening of friendship and engagement.

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2.  August 17-18

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) announces an upcoming two-day, interactive workshop, called ASIST, which prepares caregivers to provide suicide life-assisting, first-aid intervention.  Small group discussions and skills practice are based on adult learning principles.  ASIST teaches Pathways for Assisting Life (PAL), a practical guide to doing suicide interventions.  Powerful videos support the learning.  Caregivers, formally designated or not; adults, and youth 16 plus may attend.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify people who have thoughts of suicide.
  • Understand how beliefs and attitudes can affect suicide interventions.
  • Understand a person at risk’s story about suicide as well as recognize turning points that connect the person to life.
  • Conduct a safety assessment and develop a plan that will keep the person at risk safe-for-now.
  • Confirm the person at risk’s faith in the safe plan and their intent to follow it through.

For more information, contact Linda O’Neil, Public Education Consultant, Capacity Building and Education Division, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch, by telephone at 613-737-7791, Ext. 135, or by Email at loneil@cmhaottawa.ca.  To register, click here.

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3.   August 19

The Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) announces the 17th edition of Art in Strathcona Park to be held on Saturday, August 19, from 10 am to 4 pm.  Artists and artisans and undiscovered talents will come together to sell their original works directly to the public while raising public awareness about mental illness.  The artisans will offer jewellery, pottery, stained glass, wood carvings, hand-made soap and honey, and much more.  There will also be a silent auction and BBQ.  Art in Strathcona Park helps MICA to continue to have the necessary resources to help families improve their capacity to provide quality care to their relatives, and also help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.  For information, see the Art in Strathcona Park postercard, or contact Pierrette Leonard at petitepierre@msn.com.

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4.  September 8

The Ottawa Suicide Prevention Coalition to commemorate Works Suicide Prevention Day presents Talking about Suicide Safely: More Than 13 Reasons Why.

Increasing public knowledge and interest is transforming the way society thinks and talks about mental health.  This presents a unique opportunity to shape the way that people understand suicide.  However, media portrayals such as 13 Reasons Why show that we still have a long way to go in getting the message right.  This presentation will describe our most up-to-date understanding of both the benefits and pitfalls of media-related suicide prevention efforts.  It will outline a path towards safer and more accurate public discourse that emphasizes hope and resilience.  Guest speaker: Dr. Mark Sinyor, Psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.  Friday, September 8, from 8 to 11:30 am, in the Clark Hall of the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, Ottawa.  This event is free and there is parking on the premises, however registration [link] is required.

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5.  September 8-10  (deadline to register: Friday, August 11)

The Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD) is a volunteer-run charitable organization dedicated to increasing awareness of BPD and supporting family members and caregivers of people with BPD.  The Family Connections 12-week course provides education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone with BPD or emotion dysregulation.  The course is led by trained, volunteer group leaders who have completed the Family Connections course.  ON-BPD is recruiting new Course Leaders and will be hosting a Family Connections Course Leader Training Course in Ottawa on September 8 to 10.  ON-BPD has a specific need for bilingual (English-French) course leaders. Those interested in participating in this training session should submit the application form by Friday, August 11.

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6.  September 10

Second run for the pan-Canadian musical event “Mysterious Barricades.”  Following upon the resounding success of its first undertaking, Mysterious Barricades renews the experience again this year.  On Sunday, September 10th, 2017, World Suicide Prevention Day, from sunrise on the Atlantic coast to after sunset on the Pacific, musicians from across the country will perform a succession of 16 different concerts offering hope and awareness for the cause of mental health. All these concerts will be livestreamed as we move from city to city.
In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, Ottawa’s No Man Is an Island concert will offer classical music from different nations that echo the great waves of immigration that have made Canada a land of asylum while shaping and enriching our cultural landscape.  This concert will feature some of the Ottawa’s finest artists.  It will be a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community to support mental health and suicide prevention.
Artists and program to be announced.
Freiman Hall – Perez Building – University of Ottawa Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Free admission. For more information, please visit mysteriousbarricades.org

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7.  Research study recruitment

Recruitment is currently underway for a Canadian research study to understand the experiences of adults in midlife (ages 40 to 65) with anorexia nervosa.  People between these ages who wish to share their experiences should Email leslieann.mccallum@mail.utoronto.ca to learn more.  This study has been approved by the University of Toronto’s Research Ethics Board. 

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8.  OCD Ottawa, a peer-based support network, is seeking to build a picture of the services and support accessed by both those living with OCD and those who support them.  To this end, they have developed two surveys:

  • a ​​survey for individuals living with OCD
  • a survey for family members and supporters of someone living with OCD

The goal is to improve access to appropriate treatment options and support for people affected by OCD in Ottawa and the surrounding region.  Participation will help build an evidence base of shortfalls in current treatment, support, and services, and assist in advocacy work already in process to improve access to best practice treatment options, as well as education and outreach for all concerned.

Each survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.  While answering all questions will help with data collection, survey participants should not feel obliged to answer anything with which they are not comfortable.

A summary of survey results will be available at: www.ocdottawa.comRegular updates will be provided on the site of how results are being used to design education and outreach activities, and to advocate for access to appropriate treatment options.

For questions or concerns, or information about OCD Ottawa’s local support groups, contact barb@ocdottawa.com.

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

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