Beyond kale and pedicures: Strategies to reduce compassion fatigue and burnout

Date: April 19, 2018
Registration: 7:45 am to 8:15 am
Session: 8:15 am to 4:00 pm
University of Lethbridge Student Union Ballrooms
Parking directions will be emailed prior to event

There are now over two decades of research proving that working in high stress, trauma-exposed professions such as education, community mental health, law enforcement and health care carries elements of risk to the care provider: compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout can take a cumulative tolls on us as individuals and as teams. What can professionals do to protect themselves from the difficult stories that they work with on a regular basis, limited resources and high volume of work, while still remaining effective and compassionate?

This interactive, evidence-informed and trauma-informed presentation is suitable for novice and experienced participants alike. Using the most recent research in the field, it will explore assumptions about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, the organizational and personal barriers that professionals face in their daily lives, and offers new and creative approaches to transforming these occupational hazards.

Participants will learn:

  • Key Factors that increase risks of compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary trauma
  • Early intervention strategies
  • Practical strategies
  • Workplace strategies: what works?

Speaker Bio: Francoise Mathieu

Compassion Fatigue Specialist and Co-Executive Director, TEND

Françoise is a Registered Psychotherapist and a compassion fatigue specialist. Her experience stems from over 20+ years as a mental health professional, working as a crisis counsellor and trauma specialist in university counselling, military, law enforcement and other community mental health environments. Françoise is co-executive director of TEND, whose aim is to offer consulting and training to helpers on topics related to secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, self-care, wellness and organizational health. Since 2001, Françoise has given hundreds of seminars on compassion fatigue and secondary trauma across North America to thousands of helping professionals in the fields of health care, child welfare, the criminal justice system and other similar high stress, trauma exposed professions. Françoise is the author of “The Compassion Fatigue Workbook” which was published by Routledge in 2012 as well as several articles and publications.

Registration process:

Many SWRCSD partners are self-managing registration.  For staff interested in attending the workshop, contact your registration lead indicated below:
  • AHS Children’s Allied Health – Mark Moland
  • AHS Addiction and Mental Health – Crystal Van Raay (City), Carol Griffiths-Mans (Rural)
  • Children’s Services – Coral Wigand
  • Community and Social Services (Disabilities) – Tobi McRae
  • Holy Spirit – Anita Lethbridge-Gross
  • Horizon – Angela Miller
  • Kainai – Shelley Spear Chief
  • Lethbridge 51 – Cayley King
  • Livingstone Range – Richard Feller
  • Palliser – Barb Erler
  • Piikani – Connie Dersch-Gunderson
  • Westwind – Rick Gilson

Staff from the following organizations will register through Eventbrite (click this link):
  • Community Partners (FCSS, CMHA, Family Centre, SROs)
  • Independent Schools
  • Mental Health Capacity Building Project Leads (South)
  • University of Lethbridge

Family Assessment Workshop

  • January 23-24, 2018
  • Italian Canadian Cultural Centre,
  • 1511 St. Edward Blvd. North, Lethbridge
  • Cost: $55 for SWRCSD partners, $160 for non-SWRCSD
  • Registration is now open, click here to sign up!

Level 1 Family Assessment

This two-day training is for professionals who regularly work with children, adolescents, and their families and are looking for specialized knowledge in assessing and understanding family dynamics that may be influencing their clients behaviour and overall functioning.

Based on family systems theory, the foundation of the training is identification of family structure and family functioning within the system and it’s influence on key aspects of the clients’ life.

Areas of Focus:

  • Family Emotional System
  • Multi-generational transmission of Symptoms
  • Under-functioning/Over-functioning
  • Emotional-off vs. Distancing
  • Closeness-Distance Cycle
  • Sibling Position
  • Gender Patterns
  • Use of Genograms
  • Stepfamilies
  • Grief and Trauma as a Family Process
  • Therapeutic Relationship vs. Alliances

About the Presenter: Kevin Cameron

Eight days after the Columbine school shooting, Mr. Cameron led the crisis response during the 1999 school shooting incident in Taber, Alberta. Shortly thereafter he was seconded by the Alberta Government to a 13-month initiative where he studied traumatic aftermath from a “human systems approach.” Through consultation with several American sites that had experienced school shootings, and other trauma sites throughout North America, Mr. Cameron developed the Traumatic Event Systems (TES) Model.

In concert with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Behavioural Sciences Unit, he developed Canada’s first comprehensive, multidisciplinary Violence Threat Risk Assessment training program.

In March 2001, Mr. Cameron was invited to Washington, D.C. by the United States Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education, where he presented parts of the TES Model and opened international collaborative relations for the development of threat assessment protocols and related training.

He is a “Subject-Matter Expert” for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response for British Columbia Government’s ERASE initiative as well as the Lead Clinician for the Surrey Wrap Youth Gang Prevention Program.

SIVA Trainers

All education partners have identified SIVA Trainers to provide SIVA training to front-line staff members.  SWRCSD is coordinating the Train-the-Trainer and Re-certification courses on behalf of the Southwest region.

First-Time Trainers: If you have been selected by your school division to become a trainer, and you haven’t taken the Train-the-Trainer course before, you course is scheduled for January 15, 16, 17, 2018

Existing Trainers:you will need to re-certify and your course is scheduled for January 18, 2018

The Link between Movement and Communication

Children with complex bodies and complex communication develop communication skills in a different manner.

At this session learn:

  • How does movement impact communication?
  • What makes development of communication different in a child with complex communication needs?
  • Why initiating communication is so important?
  • What is verbal referencing and how can it help my child?
  • What can I do as a communication partner to help my child?

Presented by: Shobha George, OT

Of interest to: parents, teachers, education assistants and therapists

Choose the session that best fits your schedule:

  • October 3rd: 9 am-10:30 am
  • October 12th 1pm- 2:30 pm

Register by calling Children’s Allied Health Services at 403-388-6575

Hosted at: AHS West Wing, Room 1101A, Lethbridge Centre
(door on westside AHS entrance, beside the main Bay door entrance)

SWRCSD Family Night

Special Guests include Lowell and Julie Taylor from Amazing Race Canada and Music Therapist, Andrew Ichikawa.  This night is an opportunity to build connections with the SWRCSD Low Incidence Team and families in the Southwest Zone that receive services from either the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Team or Vision Support.

When: Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery, 810 – 5 Avenue South

Who: Family’s and Team member’s of students experiencing visual impairment or hearing loss

Why: Build connections, meet Lowell and Julie, hear their incredible message; Obstacles Create Opportunity, sing along with Andrew and engage in a story the whole family will love while building story boxes.

Reserve your spot, click here to register!

PODD Drop-In Sessions

With Jocelyn Roberts and Maria Lindsay
Children’s Allied Health Services, Alberta Health Services

Learning Objectives:
The purpose of the sessions is to provide you with an opportunity to have more hands on practice with PODD books, watch videos of others using PODD, and have an opportunity to ask questions and gain ideas on how to incorporate PODD into school and home life.

Who Should Attend?
Anyone who has some experience with PODD who would like a bit more practice with the books and would like to get some more ideas on how to model and use the books.

When are the sessions?
There will be three dates for the drop in sessions. No registration is required. Please pop by any time between 3:00 -5:00 pm on:

  • October 18th
  • November 16th
  • December 12th

Where are the sessions held?
Conference room at Children’s Allied Health
Lethbridge Centre-Suite 120B
200-4th Avenue South

Suicide Intervention Training

TrainingSWRCSD is hosting both a 2-day Suicide Intervention Training (SIT), and a 1-day recertification (RAP) course through Lethbridge Family Services.  Both workshops are being offered to SWRCSD partners which include Children’s Services, Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, and area school division staff members.  Target audience will include those working directly with high risk children/youth including Case Workers, Counsellors, FSLC from across our Southwest region. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the workshop.


Recert / Refresher Course

For those who have completed the 2-day SIT course within the past 3 years:

Suicide Intervention Training

For those new to the training or whose last training was more than 3 years ago:

Dates: October 18 and 19, 2017 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Palliser Education Centre (3305 – 18 Avenue North)
Maximum: 25 participants
Cost: no charge for SWRCSD partners
Click here to register for the 2-day SIT Course!

Using PODD Books?

Learn how PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) books can support children with complex needs to communicate with others.

PODDParents, Teachers, Assistants, or Therapists, who want to learn more about PODD, have an opportunity to attend a session hosted by Jocelyn Roberts / Maria Lindsay from AHS Children’s Allied Health.

Three new times to choose from: 

  • September 25, 2017      1:00-3:00 pm
  • September 28, 2017      6:00-8:00 pm
  • October 4, 2017     12:30 – 2:30 pm

Register for any one of the sessions by: 

  • Calling Children’s Allied Health Services at 403-388-6575 to book a spot (space is limited)

During the session, you will:

  • Learn general strategies for using alternative communication methods
  • Discover the principles of PODD and why it might benefit your child
  • Understand the importance of modelling and how to model the use of PODD
  • See video footage of partners and children using PODD books to communicate
  • Explore using PODD books to communicate and practice using both one- and two-page opening books

Sessions are being held at:

  • Room 1101 A and B, Lethbridge Centre Mall (200 4th Ave South)
  • Entrance at west end of Lethbridge Centre Mall, to the right side of the Bay doors


Come Learn With Us!

SWRCSD is pleased to be hosting a two-day workshop on the topic of:

Refugees and Trauma – Understanding and Supporting Resilience

presented by John Koop Harder in Lethbridge on June 5-6, 2017.

Refugee individuals and families carry with them vulnerability, potential post-traumatic stress as well as strengths and stories of resilience. This workshop provides an overview of the way trauma affects individuals and families physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. Impact and recovery from the migration experience will be examined through a neuro-psychological lens as well as a meaning-making lens to identify key areas helpers can focus their support. Participants will be given an opportunity to understand their own response as helpers to working with refugees and trauma so they are better equipped to enhance refugees’ capacities to recover, adapt and flourish in the next phase of their lives.

Day 1
 What is Trauma?
 Types of Trauma and Community Impact
 Definitions of Traumatic Impact
 Trauma, the Body and the Brain
 Nature’s Design for Human Survival
 The Role of Memory in Trauma and Healing
 Expected and Normal Impact of Refugee Experience
 Supporting Recovery after Trauma
 Role of the Helper
Day 2
 Post-Trauma Stress and Recovery
 Overview of Treating Trauma over Time
 Exercises for Emotional Regulation
 Working with Boundaries
 Dissociation
 Points for Supporting Children
 Signs of Health
 Vicarious Trauma and Secondary Trauma
 Additional Considerations of Impact and Coping for Refugees

Click here to register until May 31, 2017, seats are allocated to each SWRCSD partner.

More information about CTRI (Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute).

Goalball Demo Near You!

A court, a ball, teammates, a drive for sport … and a blindfold!  Intrigued?  

We are pleased to be hosting two mini-game demonstrations with the support of Alberta Sport and Recreation Association for the Blind (ASRAB).  You are invited to attend either one of:

  • Gilbert Paterson Middle School, Lethbridge from 8:15 to 9:05 am
  • R. I. Baker School, Coaldale from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Both sessions are on Friday, March 31.  The demonstration is intended for students aged 10+ and their family, school staff members interested in learning more about Goalball to potentially offer a unit in PE.

To assist with planning, you are requested to RSVP by March 24 using this link.

Questions? Contact Erin Peterson, Teacher for the Blind and Visually Impaired (email or 587-220-8177)

A little more background information: