Bulletin 4

Knowledge Hub-Centre de Connaissances Logo, Hub Bulletin, Issue 4, February 4, Green banner
Bulletin en français

Welcome to Issue 4 of the Knowledge Hub Bulletin!

In this Bulletin:

Project members present at the Healthy Relationships Conference

The Canadian Conference on Promoting Healthy Relationships for Youth: Breaking Down the Silos in Addressing Mental Health and Violence” took place in London, Ontario from February 15 to 17, 2017. It brought together researchers, policy makers and practitioners working with children and adolescents to prevent and address relationship violence and mental health challenges. 

Pre-conference Workshop: “Trauma and Children: Closing the Gap between What We Know and What We Can Do”


Left to Right: Renee Turner, Reaching out with Yoga, Sara Mohamed, Jassamine Tabibi & Linda Baker, Knowledge Hub, Heather Gregory & Sandra Pribanic, Sole Expression, Joanne Baker, Reaching out with Yoga.

Members from three projects funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Investment, “Supporting the Health of Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse through Community Programs”attended the three day conference, where they delivered a full day workshop on trauma and children.

Photo of Linda Baker speaking during the workshop with participants watching

In this workshop, Linda Baker from the Centre of Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children aimed to enhance participants’ understanding of what interpersonal trauma means for children and youth and to propose principles and core competencies for trauma-informed and developmentally sensitive services. For more information, check out Linda Baker’s presentation slides.

Joanne Baker and Renee Turner from BC Society of Transition Houses and Sandra Pribanic and Heather Gregory from Boost Child & Advocacy Centre presented on the emerging field of trauma-informed health promotion for survivors of child maltreatment and exposure to intimate partner violence. In particular, they presented their innovative programs, trauma-informed yoga and trauma-informed dance.

We invite you to watch this clip of Linda Baker providing an overview of the workshop:

Reaching out with Yoga (ROWY)

Joanne Baker and Renee Turner presented the “Reaching out with Yoga” project. It is a five year project that provides trauma-informed yoga to women and children who are using services at transition and second stage housing programs across British Columbia. ROWY is a collaborative project between BC Society of Transition Houses and Yoga Outreach.

ROWY is exploring the impact of trauma-informed yoga on the health and well-being of women and children who have experienced violence. It is also exploring the potential for trauma-informed yoga to support the wellness of the staff in transition and second stage housing programs across British Columbia.

A couple of unique features of this project which we hope will add to the literature on the potential impact of trauma-informed yoga, is the fact that we are offering yoga classes in transition houses. This way, we can overcome a great barrier for accessing services imposed by transportation. Another feature of the project is that we are offering yoga classes to the staff working in transition and second stage housing programs.”- Joanne Baker, BC Society of Transition Houses.


What is trauma-informed yoga?

Trauma-informed yoga classes encompass therapeutic breathing, grounding techniques, simple yoga postures and meditation and mindfulness practices.

Renee Turner described some of the unique features of trauma-informed yoga and they include:

  • Using invitational language rather than directive language.
  • Giving options for different versions of the postures.
  • Using repetition and predictability within the classes.
  • No music or religious references or chanting.
  • No hands on adjustments.

Renee invited workshop participants to experience trauma-informed chair yoga and she guided the session using trauma-informed invitational language, such as:

“we will be trying out different movements of the body if that’s comfortable for you…if it’s comfortable for you, you can start by deepening your breath or you can keep your breath at its natural pace… you are welcome to stop any movements anytime.” Renee Turner, BC Society of Transition Houses.

Check out the presentation slides for more information on this project.

Sole Expression

Heather Gregory and Sandra Pribanic presented the Sole Expression project. This five year project offers a ten-week therapeutic opportunity for youth on waiting list for therapy who have experienced child abuse and/or witnessed domestic violence. It is a collaborative project between Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, Ryerson University and Unity Charity.

The project will implement and evaluate a trauma-informed dance intervention that will focus on reducing trauma symptoms as well as promoting positive physical and mental health for youth between the ages of 12-17.

Check out the dancers from Unity Charity who performed at the launch of Sole Expression at Ryerson University!

Why hip-hop?

Hip-hop dance is used as a vehicle to deliver the program because it incorporates a number of factors that allow for the integration of trauma-informed principles.  Hip-hop is an ideal fit for the client’s needs, strengths, and interests.

“Hip-hop is not just a dance, it is a whole culture. Easy for the youth to relate to and access” Sandra Pribanic, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.

The group nature of hip-hop can create a support system and a safety-net for youth leading to a decreased sense of isolation for them. Hip-hop provides the opportunity for storytelling and meaning making. The youth can express their feelings and emotions through unique dance moves created and named by them. The project is not offering a structured dance class but the youth are strongly encouraged to adapt dance movements and activities to their comfort level.

Check out the presentation slides for more information on why the project chose hip-hop dance as an intervention!

Sandra Pribanic invited workshop participants to engage in a trauma-informed meditation exercise and she used gentle invitational language to guide the session.

Sole Expression is currently recruiting youth from the Toronto area to participate in the trauma-informed dance program with plans to initiate the first session in March, 2017.

We invite you to watch this clip of Sandra Pribanic briefly describing Sole Expression:

Project Updates:

STEP: Supporting the transition to and engagement in parenthood in adults who experienced maltreatment as children
Building Connections "Building Connections: Supporting Community-based Programs to Address Interpersonal Violence and Child Maltreatment" screenshot of Webinar slide and presenter
Building Internal Resilience through Horses
  • The project is currently recruiting young women aged 13-18 who have witnessed or experienced family conflict, dating violence, or other forms of abuse to participate in the first session of the program scheduled to start in March, 2017.
Building Internal Resilience Through Horses - Express Youself Through Heart and Art poster
Supporting Victims and Strengthening the Health of Northern and Indigenous Youth Experiencing Teen Dating Violence in the Northwest Territories
  • Organizers at FOXY and SMASH are hosting a think tank in March to develop more specific resources and programming to address sexual trauma and violence.
Nato’ we ho win (formerly Creative Solutions to Easing Victimization Effects)
  • Project name change! The project will now be called Nato’ we ho win (Cree for “The Art of Self-Healing”)
  • The first group for the project will begin in Moose Jaw on March 8, finishing at the end of May and the project is currently recruiting participants. For more information, check out the project’s recruitment poster: http://pathssk.org/natowehowin/
Nato' we ho win poster for Healing Group on March 8 - May 24, 2017
Shape Your Life Screenshot from article - Cathy stands in front of red-brick wall with boking gloves and photos on it.

Introducing New Projects

Welcome Announcement! 
The Knowledge Hub welcomes three new projects that received funding under the Public Health Agency of Canada’s investment to its Trauma-and Violence-Informed Health Promotion Community of Practice (CoP).

MindUP for Young Children
Funding recipient:
  The Centre for School Mental Health at Western University
The project is implementing and evaluating a mindfulness-informed, evidence-based social and emotional learning intervention within a trauma-informed framework to full-day kindergarten children in The London District Catholic School Board, as well as in a community-based organization, Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre, which provides support services and crisis care to children and families.

Project Members: (Photo L-R) Dr. Karen Bax, Co-Principal Investigator; Sandra Savage, Mental Health Lead and Social Work Supervisor, LDCSB (Partner organization); Caely Dunlop, PhD Candidate; Andie Lapp, Research Coordinator; Dr. Lynda Hutchinson, Project Manager; Devon Trower, Master’s Candidate; Nicole Off, Master’s Candidate; Dr. Claire Crooks, Co-Principal Investigator.

Photo of MindUp project members

Child and Youth Mental Health: The implementation of the interRAI Collaborative Action Plans to improve outcomes for children and youth exposed to domestic violence
Funding recipient:
  Western University
This project is implementing and testing an innovative tool that assesses the health needs of children between the ages of 4 to 18 who have been exposed to domestic violence and abuse, and subsequently develops health interventions that are both evidence-informed and community based.
Child and Youth Mental Health - project members photo
Project Members: (L-R) Shannon Stewart, Yasmin Garad, and Alan Leschied.

Inunnguiniq (childrearing): Developing and piloting an evidence-based intervention to support high-risk families who experience family violence in Nunavut
Funding recipient:  Qaujigiartit Health Research Centre (AHRN-NU)

Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in Nunavut is adapting, piloting and evaluating the Inunnguiniq Parenting Program for high-risk parents and caregivers who are involved in the criminal justice system, accessing social services and/or are in treatment for substance abuse. The Inunnguiniq Parenting Program works to revive Inuit pathways to wellness-building on Inuit societal values and the importance of family connections and rearing children through a strengths-based and holistic approach.
Project Members: Gwen Healey and Nicole Diakite.
Gwen Healey
Photo: Gwen Healey

Hub Knowledge Exchange

We are pleased to announce that a Knowledge Exchange will take place March 20-21, 2017 in Toronto to finalize the discussion on common indicators across projects as a means of evaluating the investment. Details about the Knowledge Exchange will be circulated to Community of Practice members.

Featured Resources

Inunnguiniq: Parenting Program for Nunavummiut Final Report 2010-2015 - image of Report CoverInunnguiniq Parenting Program for Nunavummiut Final Evaluation by Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, 2010-2015. 
Ten communities completed pilots of the Inunnguiniq Parenting Support Program between January and April 2012 and 4 of the original communities participated in pilots of the revised 2nd edition of the Inunnguiniq Parenting Support Program in 2013-14.” This report captures the evaluation of Inunnguiniq Parenting Program for Nunavummiut.

Play to the Whistle: A Pilot Investigation of a Sports-Based Intervention for Traumatized Girls in Residential Treatment by D’Andrea, W., Bergholz, L., Fortunato, A., & Spinazzola, J. (2013). 
A sports-based intervention called “Do the Good” (DtG) was designed for adolescents in residential treatment settings using trauma-informed treatment principles. This paper describes the intervention model and presents outcome data.

Knowledge Hub Upcoming Webinar

Photo of Natale ClarkTrauma-Informed Practice with Indigenous Peoples across the Life Span
Date & Time:
 May 16, 2017 | 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm Eastern Standard Time
Presented by: Natalie Clark, Associate Professor School of Social Work and Human Service, Thompson River University.
Register at: http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/knowledge-hub-webinar-series-2017

Professor Natalie Clark will examine the beginnings of a trauma practice framework that is Indigenous, intersectional and holistic and that considers how experiences of trauma and of healing are shaped by the interlocking impact of Indigeneity, age, gender, sexuality, and (dis) ability, among others. She will discuss the development of Indigenous intersectional, trauma-informed and culturally safe practice approaches with people of different age groups. Ms. Clark will also describe how to assist Indigenous peoples in understanding and improving their coping responses to daily triggers including the impact of experiences of racism, poverty, sexism, and colonialism.

Webinar Library

Access past webinar recordings and resources at: http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/knowledge-hub/webinars

Reaching Youth through Sports: Trauma-Informed Physical Activity
 March 7, 2017
Presented by: Rebekah Roulier, Chief Operating Officer, Doc Wayne

What it takes to be a Trauma-informed Organization
Date: January 31, 2017
Presented by: Holly Murphy, Advanced Practice Leader for Trauma Informed Care, the IWK Health Center and Sue McWilliam, Advanced Practice Leader for Outcomes & Evaluation Research, IWK Health Centre.

From Trauma-informed to trauma-and violence-informed
Date: November 29, 2016
Presented by: Colleen Varcoe, Professor, University of British Columbia

Knowledge Hub Team

Linda Baker, Sara Mohamed, Anna-Lee Straatman, Jassamine Tabibi

We would love to hear from you!
Contact us: astraat2@uwo.ca

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Website: http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/knowledge-hub