Breakout Sessions


The Breakout Sessions feature trauma and violence-informed interventions for health promotion focussing on a variety of populations experiencing trauma related to maltreatment, intimate partner violence and structural violence.  Primary workshop streams include:  

  • Children and youth
  • Women
  • Men
  • Indigenous people
  • LGBTQ2S+
  • Living with disability
  • Parenting
  • Arts-based activities
  • Body work
  • Professional development

Workshop streams are listed with the description and learning objectives.

BREAKOUT SESSION A - Wednesday, June 10, 2020 11:00 AM – 12:00 NOON

Safe and Understood: Intervening with Families to Promote Healthy Child Outcomes and Prevent Abuse Recurrence for Young Child Victims of Domestic Violence Exposure

Dr. Angelique Jenney, Principal Investigator; Dr. Katreena Scott, Principal Investigator; and Dr. Elisabeth Godbout, Researcher

This presentation will provide an overview on two intervention programs—Mothers in Mind and Caring Dads.  Mothers in Mind is a 10 week, trauma-informed, relationship-focused, mother-child group intervention. Designed to meet the parenting needs of mothers who experienced interpersonal abuse and trauma (e.g., childhood abuse, neglect, sexual assault or woman abuse) and/or are currently parenting children under the age of four, who are at risk due to domestic violence exposure. Caring Dads is 17-week group intervention for fathers who have been violent in the families. In collaboration with others involved in the family, Caring Dads aims to ensure child safety and well-being.  Challenges to implementation, evaluation and embedding in a French-speaking context will be explored.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how to embed and use the interventions in a child protection services context
  • To understand the importance of including fathers in the process of improving outcomes for children at risk due to domestic violence exposure
  • To explore how to adapt the interventions to fit different context (i.e., French speaking population)

Workshop Streams: Women, Men, Parenting

What You Really Need to Know About Intellectual Disability and Trauma

Dave Hingsburger, Director of Clinical & Educational Services, VITA Mens Sana

We all know that people with physical disabilities often need ramps – that makes sense. But what about ‘cognitive ramping’ – what about the idea of adapting the environment and even your approach to maximize success? And what would cognitive ramping look like to best serve individuals who have experienced trauma. By understanding what ‘intellectual disability’ and “experiencing trauma” means in terms of everyday interactions and in terms of learning, staff can develop approaches that work and patience that comes from understanding. This workshop is highly practical and those attending will leave with ideas for how to better serve those living with intellectual disabilities and trauma.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand intellectual disability and cognitive ramping
  • To understand cognitive ramping within the context of trauma
  • To learn strategies/approaches to better support individuals living with intellectual disabilities and trauma

Workshop Streams: Disability, Professional Development

Nato' we ho win: An Arts-Based Cultural Healing Program for Indigenous Women who have Experienced Violence

Barb Frazer (Indigenous Knowledge Systems Educator/ Nato' we ho win Facilitator) & Crystal Giesbrecht (Director of Research and Communications, Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)

Nato’ we ho win is a trauma-and-violence-informed, artistic and cultural program that encourages women participants to build resilience and connection. This presentation will provide an overview of the Nato’ we ho win program, including the teachings and philosophy that inform the program and the practical considerations for delivering the program. Research results (quantitative measures and qualitative focus groups conducted with women before and after participating in Nato’ we ho win) will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how art can be used to promote healing among survivors of violence
  • To learn how Indigenous cultural teachings can be used to promote healing in a group of survivors of violence
  • To receive an overview of the Nato' we ho win program and think about how the program content could be altered for use in other communities and/or agencies)
  • To learn about the research process of collecting data with this group (Indigenous women who have experienced IPV) and the findings (the effectiveness of the Nato' we ho win program design)
Workshop Streams: Indigenous, Women, Arts-Based Activities

Preventing Youth Dating Violence: Advancing a National Community of Practice

Deinera Exner-Cortens, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Calgary

This presentation will review a Youth Dating Violence National Community of Practice, led by the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The presenter will describe the purpose and activities of this Community of Practice; highlight lessons learned from both youth and adult members; and share resources created to support evidence-informed prevention among community of practice members. A brief review of youth dating violence in Canada will also be provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand key information on youth dating violence
  • To learn the purpose of the Youth Dating Violence National Community of Practice
  • To be familiar with activities completed in the first year of the Community of Practice
  • To obtain resources developed for the Community of Practice

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Professional Development

Building Internal Resilience Through Horses: Trauma-Informed, Community-based Experiential Learning for Young Women

Jennifer Garland, The Mane Intent Inc. Owner/Program Director; Katie McKeiver BSW, RSW Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Social Worker

Learn how a gentle herd of horses is helping young women find strength, connection and build coping skills following family violence. Building Internal Resilience Through Horses is an innovative community group program that works with young women aged 13-18 years who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence, child maltreatment or dating violence. Using trauma and violence informed principles, the program includes 10 weeks of hands-on experience combining equine-assisted learning, expressive arts and psychoeducational information-sharing, designed to help young women reduce post-traumatic symptoms, improve mental health, enhance personal coping skills and resilience, while reducing their risk of harm in the future. The workshop will include an overview of the program delivery and design, as well as its adaptation for specific populations we will include experiential learning opportunities reflective of program content and design.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how to design and build an innovative community program with strong evaluative outcomes
  • To understand how equine assisted learning is an effective evidence-based intervention strategy for building resilience in young women who have experienced trauma c) Provide an opportunity to experience trauma informed experiential learning
  • To outline challenges and barriers encountered throughout the program and how they were addressed

Workshop Streams: Arts-Based Activities, Children and Youth

From Trauma Recovery to Trauma Resilience: A 'Blue/Pinkprint' for Trauma with Sexual/Gender Minorities

Daniel Pugh, Daniel Pugh Psychotherapy & Social Consulting & Sherbourne Health

This workshop will share insights and experiences about a unique, (psychoeducational) trauma recovery skills group for sexual/gender minorities. Trauma Recovery Education Empowerment (T.R.E.E.) attends to trauma while recognizing the distinct and unique relationship that sex and gender play in our trauma processes and responses. This session is designed for service providers, mental health practitioners, educators, clinicians, students and researchers. The proposed format of this workshop will include a mixture of lecture, small group discussion, exercises and question/answer periods.

Learning Objectives:

  • To explore the impact that gendered messages have on sexual/gender minorities to process and recover from trauma/PTSD;
  • To participate in a review of the T.R.E.E program as an adapted model of trauma-informed/specific programming;
  • To enhance networks working to connect sex & gender into trauma-informed practice.

Workshop Streams: LGBTQ+, Men

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Organization- The YWCA Toronto Experience

Nina Gorka, Director of Shelters, Girls’ and Family Programs, YWCA Toronto

The YWCA Toronto is creating an organization-wide shift to incorporate trauma-informed practices across all departments at its large multi-sector not-for-profit organization. The project has developed educational resources to enhance awareness, skills and practices of the organization’s service staff, leadership, and program partners and has incorporated a Framework for Organizational Change guided by trauma-informed principles which is being evaluated at the participant, program/site and organizational levels.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how to implement the Organizational Change Framework  
  • To identify challenges and lessons learned when undertaking a trauma-informed organizational change – what we learned and what we would do differently
  • To identify advantages and successes of integrating and adopting trauma-informed practice into an organization

Workshop Streams: Professional Development

BREAKOUT SESSION B - Wednesday, June 10, 2020 2:15 – 3:15 PM

Supporting the Transition to and Engagement in Parenthood in Adults who Experienced Maltreatment as Children

Nicolas Berthelot (PhD), Roxanne Lemieux (PhD), Christine Drouin-Maziade (PsyD), Julia Garon-Bissonnette (BA)

Developmental trauma have long-term consequences and their effects may be particularly salient during challenging periods such as pregnancy and the year following childbirth. Early in their development, offspring of parents exposed to childhood trauma are correspondingly more likely to present difficulties and are 3-times more at risk than children of non-exposed parents to be maltreated themselves. Recent research evidence suggest that parents’ mentalization abilities have substantial protective effects. The presentation will introduce a trauma-informed prenatal program targeting mentalization in future parents with a history of developmental trauma: STEP: Supporting the Transition to and Engagement in Parenthood.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the concept of mentalization and its protective role in the aftermath of trauma
  • To learn about the prenatal program STEP
  • To identify trauma-informed interventions with parents having a personal history of trauma

Workshop Streams: Women, Men, Parenting

The Sole Expression Project: An Experiential Trauma-Informed Hip-Hop Workshop

Rachael Edge, Program Coordinator, UNITY; Linda Liu, Research manager, Ryerson University; Kaitlin Winslow, Trauma Therapist, Boost CYAC

Sole Expression is a ten-week trauma-informed Hip-hop intervention program for youth who have experienced and/or been exposed to violence. The curriculum was co-created by trauma clinicians, researchers, and professional hip-hop dancers/graffiti artists. The intervention program is delivered by a facilitator team of two experienced hip-hop dance instructors and one trauma therapist. In this session, the facilitator team will guide attendees through an experiential workshop highlighting how hip-hop dance, graffiti and trauma-informed principles weave together restorative concepts of self, relationships and community. We will conclude by presenting preliminary research findings of youth’s experiences in Sole Expression.

Learning Objectives:

  • To describe the integration of movement-based grounding activities, dance and Hip-hop pedagogy in a trauma-informed intervention for youth who have experienced and/or been exposed to violence
  • To describe the principles and considerations of designing and implementing a trauma-informed Hip-hop dance intervention
  • To increase participants’ knowledge in applying trauma-informed principles in research and program delivery

Workshop Streams: Body Work, Children and Youth

To be Confirmed

Applying Trauma-Informed Practice in Peer-Led Program Delivery

Kasia Ignatowska, Health Promotion Coordinator, Covenant House Toronto and Thanara Rajakulendran, Research Coordinator, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

This presentation will share lessons learned through the process of creating a peer-led, trauma-informed program for women-identifying youth who have experienced gender-based violence. The program perspective will demonstrate how the needs and insights of peer mentors, participants, volunteers and community partners have shaped the community-based program model. The research perspective will provide qualitative evidence on group members' quality of experience with the program.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand importance of how to select peer mentor facilitators
  • To describe how to adapt feedback from cohort to program activities
  • To demonstrate the efficacy of launching a successful program

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Arts-Based Activities

iHEAL: A Woman-Led Approach for Promoting Safety, Hope and Healing in the Transition of Separating from an Abusive Partner

Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Professor, Arthur Labatt School of Nursing, Western University; Kelly Scott-Storey, Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Colleen Varcoe, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia (for the iHEAL Team)

iHEAL is a promising health promotion intervention for women who are in the transition of separating from an abusive partner. Community health nurses, who have completed standardized IHEAL Education, work in partnership with women for ~ 6 months (10-18 sessions) to address a broad range of issues that affect women’s safety, health and well-being. iHEAL is woman-led, and flexible enough to fit the needs of all women, with potential to reduce inequities. Tailoring iHEAL to each community increases the possibility of successful integration with existing services. This session provides an orientation to iHEAL and its’ unique delivery model; summarizes key lessons from research completed to date, including 3 feasibility studies and a current randomized controlled trial of 331 Canadian women; and explores how these lessons can be used to help strengthen services for women living with violence and inequity.

Learning Objectives:

  • To describe the principles, components and unique delivery model of iHEAL
  • To explain how iHEAL nurses personalize the support they provide to women living in different contexts, including approaches for working with existing services and supports.
  • To describe the evidence-base behind iHEAL including it's safety and acceptability to women, and short-term impacts, and the conditions and resources needed to successfully deliver this intervention.
  • To consider how the lessons from iHEAL could be used to strengthen services for women in your local community.

Workshop Streams: Women

Doing Justice for LGBTQ2+ Communities in Services and Programs

Lisa Lachance, Doctoral Candidate, Dalhousie University; Fae Johnstone, Wisdom2Action

Homophobia and transphobia fundamentally shape the health and well-being of LGBTQ2+ young people. LGBTQ2+ youth are significantly more likely to struggle with mental health problems, to experience homelessness and to have substance use issues, but are less likely to access health and social services, and less likely to receive the inclusive care they need when they do. This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to LGBTQ2+ inclusion and trauma-informed health and social services, with a particular emphasis on shifting organizational culture, and bringing LGBTQ2+ inclusion into your everyday practice. This workshop will build on two key reports co-authored by Wisdom2Action on LGBTQ2+ youth and Gender-Based Violence, and the mental health of LGBTQ2+ emerging adults, both of which highlight the systemic barriers that shape the health of LGBTQ2+ young people.

Learning Objectives:

  • To increase knowledge of the specific barriers facing LGBTQ2+ individuals and communities when accessing services
  • To increase knowledge of Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) terminology
  • To understand how an anti-oppressive, youth engaged approach can support trauma-informed and inclusive services
  • To provide tips for more inclusive services

Workshop Streams: LGBTQ+, Professional Development

Being Trauma Aware: Understanding the Impacts of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Crystal Hincks and Brenda Neis

Being Trauma Aware (BTA) is a free, on-line trauma-informed course that aims to improve the understanding of the impacts of child abuse and maltreatment. The course provides foundational knowledge for a range of professionals working with children and youth who may have experienced abuse and/or trauma.

Learning Objectives:

  • To describe what childhood trauma is and its impacts
  • To describe how childhood trauma impacts the developing brain
  • To list the impacts of trauma on a variety of domains and the connection to physical and mental health, and substance use disorders
  • To identify tools for healing and resilience

Workshop Streams: Professional Development, Children and Youth  

BREAKOUT SESSION C - Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:45 – 10:45 AM

The Story of the Inunnguiniq Program (Inuit Parenting/Childrearing Practices) and some Practical Hands-on Activities

Gwen Healey Akearok and Nancy Mike

Our presentation will focus on storytelling and practical hands-on activities from the Inunnguiniq Parenting/Childrearing Program. This program was made in Nunavut by Nunavummiut and is based on Inuit childrearing philosophy.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand community development of a parenting program
  • To understand basic concepts from Inuit childrearing philosophy
  • To understand the diverse needs and traumatic histories of Inuit communities and families

Workshop Streams: Women, Parenting, Indigenous People

Bounce Back League: A Universal Trauma-Informed Sport Program

Jan Vesna, Manager, National Programs, and Denise Silverstone, Director, National Programs & Services, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Join us as we look at how Boys and Girls Clubs staff have been using trauma-informed coaching practices to help increase confidence and resiliency in program participants through a new initiative – the Bounce Back League. Basic information about trauma-informed approaches to recreation/coaching will be explored and participants will have the opportunity to try out some Bounce Back League activities in a fun, supportive environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • To deepen understanding of trauma
  • To investigate the ways sport, physical activity, and play can heal
  • To learn how trauma shapes behavior 4. Learn and try-on trauma-informed practices

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Body Work, Professional Development 

Building Internal Resilience through Horses: Program Evaluation Research on a Trauma-Informed Resiliency Intervention

Roya Ghahremani, Graduate Research Assistant, Trent University; Kateryna Keefer, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Trent University

This presentation highlights research results for Building Internal Resilience Through Horses, a 10-week community-based Equine Assisted Learning Program for young women (ages 13-18 years) who have experienced or witnessed interpersonal violence. The program utilises ground-based work with horses as a forum for enhancing participants’ resiliency-related competencies and outcomes. The research team will report program evaluation results based on 10 groups of participants who completed the program to date. Weekly attendance and participant feedback data are integrated with quantitative measures of mental health and resiliency outcomes, as well as qualitative interviews with individual participants, to paint a comprehensive picture of the unique promises and potential boundaries of this innovative form of intervention.

Learning Objectives:

  • To explore the use of mixed-methods research design for program evaluation
  • To learn about changes in participants’ mental health and resiliency outcomes after the program
  • To understand participants’ experiences and perceptions of the program and its impacts
  • To share challenges and considerations in conducting program evaluation research

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Arts-Based Activities

MindUp Research Journey

Claire Crooks (Ph.D., C.Psych.), Director of Centre for School Mental Health, Western University; Sandra Savage (MSW), Mental Health Lead, London District Catholic School Board; Andrea Lapp, MindUP Project Manager, Centre for School Mental Health

The MindUP for Young Children project involves the implementation and evaluation of a mindfulness-informed, evidence-based, social and emotional learning intervention. The program is being delivered within a trauma-informed framework to primary students in the London District Catholic School Board. Through 15 teacher-led lessons that integrate neuroscience, mindful awareness, and positive psychology, students have the opportunity to develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills. The project is currently in its fourth year of implementation and evaluation. The presentation will cover the research journey since 2016 and the quantitative/qualitative findings collected throughout the years.

Learning Objectives:

  • To illustrate the path from feasibility to effectiveness evaluation using our school-based MindUP project as an example
  • To identify factors that contribute to research and evaluation successes and challenges
  • To explore the effects of MindUP on student/teacher well-being

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Professional Development

Building Connections: Replicating and Evaluating an Interpersonal Violence Intervention in Communities across Canada - Outcomes for Practitioners, Organizations and Communities

Margaret Leslie, Dip.C.S., C.Psych.Assoc., Director - Child and Family Services, Mothercraft; Mary Motz, Ph.D., C.Psych., Clinical Psychologist, Mothercraft/Breaking the Cycle

Mothers who experience violence in adult relationships have often experienced childhood abuse and trauma, or have witnessed violence as they grew up. The Connections interpersonal violence intervention is premised on a lifespan perspective of trauma, and uses a developmental-relational lens to understand the intergenerational transmission of trauma. This presentation will describe the replication of the Connections interpersonal violence intervention in 34 communities across Canada. Research and clinical information that led to decision to embed Connections in community programs – including a videotaped presentation by a mother who shares her story of trauma and healing – will be discussed, as will the opportunities and challenges of such a national replication. The presentation will provide a broad overview of the replication activities, including site recruitment and selection, certified training, site consultations, and community of practice. Finally, qualitative data evaluating the impact of Connections on: 1) practitioner capacity; 2) organizational/program capacity; and 3) community capacity, will be presented to illustrate changes in capacity to respond to IPV as a result of the intervention.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the opportunities and challenges of scaling trauma-informed interventions in community-based settings;
  • To consider the ethical implications – clinical and research - of embedding an IPV intervention in community-based settings;
  • To understand the implications to practitioners, organizations/projects and communities of integrating trauma-informed interventions into community-based settings.

Workshop Streams: Professional Development

Trauma and Violence-Informed Health Promotion and Research: Mobilizing Knowledge

Linda Baker, Sara Mohamed, Anna-Lee Straatman, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University 

The Knowledge Hub connects 17 trauma-and violence-informed intervention research projects funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This workshop will describe strategies for building capacity among project leads and the broader Canadian community. The preliminary findings of the external evaluation will be used to discuss challenges and lessons learned.  

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn strategies for knowledge mobilization
  • To understand challenges and benefits of connecting researchers and practitioners across the country
  • To benefit from lessons learned

Workshop Stream: Professional Development

VEGA (Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action) Family Violence Project: Supporting Healthcare and Social Service Providers to Respond Safely to Family Violence

Jill McTavish, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University and Harriet MacMillan, CM, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University

This workshop will introduce approaches to identifying and responding safely to child maltreatment and intimate partner violence based on new educational resources developed through the VEGA Project with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.  VEGA’s Family Violence Education Resources, comprised of learning modules (e.g., care pathways, scripts, how-to videos), interactive educational scenarios and a Handbook, were developed based on systematic reviews and in collaboration with 22 Canadian healthcare and social service organizations. Drawing from presented resources, attendees will have opportunities to practice asking about and responding safely to scenarios in which family violence is suspected or disclosed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To identify signs and symptoms associated with child maltreatment and intimate partner violence.
  2. To demonstrate how to inquire about and respond to family violence in an assessment.
  3. To identify VEGA clinical and teaching resources to address family violence.

Workshop Streams: Professional Development

BREAKOUT SESSION D - Thursday, June 11, 2020 2:20 – 3:20 PM

Building Connections: Supporting Families Experiencing Interpersonal Violence through Community-Based Intervention

Mary Motz, Ph.D., C.Psych., Clinical Psychologist, Mothercraft/Breaking the Cycle; Margaret Leslie, Dip.C.S., C.Psych.Assoc., Director - Child and Family Services, Mothercraft

This presentation will introduce participants to Connections, an intervention for women experiencing interpersonal violence who are pregnant and/or parenting children under 6 years. Connections is a six-week manualized group which incorporates a relational and trauma-based lens. The aim of Connections is to provide information, increase awareness, and create a safe opportunity for mothers to explore their experiences of unhealthy relationships and to consider its impact on: a) their own well-being; b) their parenting; and c) the well-being of their children. The Connections manual is available in English and French, and as a version that has been written and adapted for Canadian Indigenous communities. Through the Building Connections initiative, Connections was disseminated into 34 community-based projects across Canada. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation results indicated that women have reported improvements in self-esteem, self-efficacy, relationship capacity, parenting stress, knowledge of community services, and understanding of relevant concepts compared to before the intervention.

Learning Objectives:

  • To develop an understanding of Connections, a manualized, family-focused intervention for mothers of infants and young children who are experiencing risks related to interpersonal violence, which was implemented in communities across Canada.
  • To examine both quantitative and qualitative research outcomes for mothers and children related to delivery of the Connections intervention.
  • To consider the benefit of adopting trauma-informed, relational approaches to interpersonal violence interventions in communities and the importance of providing integrated services to vulnerable families.

Workshop Streams: Parenting, Women, Children and Youth

Sharing our Learning from the Reaching Out with Yoga Project: Trauma-Informed Yoga for Women and Children who have Experienced Violence

Renee Turner, Research Manager, BC Society of Transition Houses; Sarah Holmes de Castro, Director of Training and Programs, Yoga Outreach

This workshop will describe and offer a demonstration of a trauma-informed yoga program (Reaching out with yoga (ROWY)) which was developed and implemented in transition homes in British Columbia for women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence, and for staff.  Successes and obstacles to project implementations will be shared.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the ROWY project methodology
  • To gain insight into a trauma-informed approach to doing research
  • To have an embodied experience of the intervention (trauma-informed chair yoga)
  • To learn applications of how one could integrate it into their work with survivors

Workshop Streams: Women, Children and Youth, Body Work, Professional Development

Bringing Social-Emotional Learning and Mindful Awareness to the Community: Creating a Partnership and a Community Program

Karen Bax, Ph.D., C.Psych; Assistant Professor, Western Ontario. Director, The Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount. Sarah Wells, B. A., C.T.S., Merrymount Children's Centre, Melissa Read, M.A., and Alyssa Mueller, B.Sc. (Hons).

This presentation will share a unique community-university model that bridges research and practice in early child and family well-being and how through this partnership, the Making Mindfulness Matter (M3) program was created. M3 is a mindfulness-based concurrent parent and child (ages 4-10 years) 8- week program that supports parents by offering a new approach to parenting in stressful situations and helps children build skills to manage their emotions and behaviours. We will present preliminary findings for the past three years of the feasibility of this universal program, which has been delivered to families experiencing adversity.

Learning Objectives:

  • To acquire knowledge about a unique community-university partnership working across systems to bridge the gap between science and practice in early childhood mental health and family well-being
  • To learn about a newly developed community program that teaches resiliency skills to parents and children through mindfulness
  • To share some of the findings from the first three years of the evaluation of the program

Workshop Streams: Parenting, Children and Youth

Examining Land-Based and Indigenous Approaches to Health and Well-Being with Northern and Indigenous Young Women in the Northwest Territories

Candice Lys, Executive Director

Land-based and Indigenous approaches are important for decolonization and have been associated with wellness. This is particularly salient in the Northwest Territories (NWT), where there are among Canada’s highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI), suicide, and gender-based violence, rooted in intergenerational trauma and effects of colonization. This study with Indigenous and Northern young women in the NWT evaluated whether, in comparison to before a land-based retreat, participants demonstrated increased leadership, emotional empowerment, sexual health knowledge, and safer sex self-efficacy following the retreat.

Learning Objectives: 

  • To learn about a 10-day peer leadership retreat intervention developed by and for Northern and Indigenous youth
  • To learn about the evaluation methods of a peer leadership retreat intervention
  • To learn about findings regarding leadership, emotional empowerment, sexual health knowledge, and safer sex self-efficacy from retreat participants

Workshop Streams: Indigenous, Children and Youth, Arts-Based Activities

Healing and Empowering through Storytelling: Building Block Approaches to Building Survivor led Interventions

Wangari Tharao and Entisar Yusuf

This presentation will describe the approaches and interventions we used to engage the community and survivors to address Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) in a Canadian context. Given the private and sensitive nature of FGM/C, most women do not want information about their FGM status to be public knowledge and therefore will not want to mention or discuss FGM/C in a public place. We will highlight how we engaged women in digital story telling by creating safe and empowering space and how that helped them to talk about a difficult subject.  Their stories have contributed to the development of tools for health care providers, policy makers and other stakeholders to understand FGM/C as one of women's reproductive health concerns.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand steps in organizing digital story telling for sensitive topics like FGM/C
  • To learn why it is important for women to tell their stories and how to create safe spaces

Workshop Streams: Women, Arts-Based Activities


Wendy Komiotis, METRAC, Tatiana Ferguson

More information to follow.

Workshop streams: LGBTQ+

Exploring the Relationship Between Trauma and Care Planning Needs in Children Referred for Mental Health Services

Shannon Stewart, Katherine Rupert, and Armush Salahadin

This presentation will provide an overview of care planning needs for children and youth exposed to domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Our aim is to engage a diverse team of knowledge users, researchers and decision-makers in a collaborative effort to strengthen the delivery of mental health care for children and youth exposed to DVA. Based on interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) assessment data with children, youth and families from over 70 agencies, initial findings will be shared, and a case study will be used to illustrate the use of the ChYMH and InterRAI Collaborative Action plan trauma-informed guidelines.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn about Ontario’s mental health initiative to improve outcomes for children through the use of high quality data.
  • To learn a new approach to assessment that links assessment information to evidence-informed care planning related to trauma.
  • To learn about the intervention and care-planning needs of the most vulnerable children and youth within Ontario.

Workshop Streams: Children and Youth, Professional Development