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Pathways Forward: DCGT Annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference

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Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

St. Michael's Hospital

209 Victoria Street

Toronto, ON M5B 1T8

Canada

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Pathways Forward: DCGT Annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference

Each year, there are 4000 suicides in Canada. For every suicide loss, there are at least 10 family members, friends, co-workers and others forever impacted by that death. The impact of that suicide leaves unanswered questions, isolation, uncertainty and often no clear path forward.

In November of each year Survivors of Suicide Loss gather around the world to acknowledge the life-changing impact of the suicide of someone they care about deeply. They gather to honour the person who has died and to meet with others travelling and surviving together.

Through group discussions, workshops, meaningful conversations and networking we will explore the unique journeys we take from the early moments after their death, to months and years later as we come to terms with pain, sorrow, and loss.

On November 24th, 2019 please join us and other survivors of suicide loss for a day of connecting, learning and remembering.

Please note:

  • This event is only meant for attendees who have lost a loved one to suicide.
  • The conference is inclusive of a breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and soft drinks at no additional cost to the ticket.
  • We want everyone who would like to take part to be able to attend. If you have any concerns about a financial barrier please reach out to Alex: alex@torontodistresscentre.com


Keynotes:

Leah Parsons
Title: Rae's Awareness - A Journey of Hope & Healing
Description: Leah talks openly about her mental health struggles after losing her daughter Rehtaeh to suicide but she has also found ways to walk with her grief. Leah will share her healing journey as she embraces a life worth living

Bio of speaker: Leah is an award winning change maker, compassionate global steward and powerful keynote presenter who speaks from the heart. Her love for her daughter and determination to make things right gave her the courage and tenacity to go public with Rehtaeh’s story, advocate for her daughter and ensure that changes were made. Leah has appeared in news articles all over the world, been featured in countless media segments, documentaries, appeared on the Dr Phil show and has had personal meetings with heads of state. She continues to honour her daughter’s life by educating and keeping the conversation moving forward.Leah speaks at schools, communities and various conferences across Canada reaching thousands of people.

Enza Tiberi-Checchia
Title: Speaking for those with out a voice
Description: “All of it, every single painful moment of my journey was necessary to lead me here to this extraordinary life I have created. Mental illness did not break me, it broke me open. I cannot forget those we have lost to suicide and I will never give up hope for the end of suffering for those who struggle with mental illness. I speak for those without a voice. I have much to say and I will not be silenced.”

Bio of speaker: Suicide Loss Survivor, Author, Mental Health Advocate, Blogger, Business Woman, Community Builder and Philanthropist, Enza Tiberi-Checchia is recognized nationally in Canada as 1 of 150 CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) Difference Makers. She is a recipient of the prestigious Stephen Dupuis-Community Building Award from Toronto’s Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) Association for exceptional charitable community involvement. She is co-founder of Hats On For Awareness, a registered charity in Canada that raises funds to further the reach of mental health programs that enhance the lives of those living with an affected by mental illness and addictions. She is Founder of the ground breaking blog MI Etcetera that is a forum for her mental health advocacy work and where she shares her journey and experiences through mental illness, healing, recovery and beyond. Her most recent contribution to the mental health conversation is he publishing of her essay “The Question” in the book Brainstorm Revolution .


Workshops:

Cheryl Mercer B.A., MEd. (Counselling): H.O.P.E. Inspired Grief Workshop
H.O.P.E. Inspired Grief explores self supportive principles for everyday use for those grieving a suicide loss and the people who support them. Using the acronym H.O.P.E., the goal of the workshop is to offer you practical skills and insights designed to help guide you through the grieving process. The journey through grief is often painful, isolating, confusing and lonely. Grief is physically and emotionally exhausting.


The workshop begins with a presentation outlining the guiding principles of H.O.P.E., followed by an interactive small group activity offering you an opportunity to explore hope on a personal level. There is no way around grief; the only way is through it. Join the conversation and bring your insights and experience to light. This workshop is designed to facilitate self awareness, offer you practical coping strategies and perhaps most importantly, inspire you to H.O.P.E.

Kathryn Mettler: Developing an Understanding of Trauma

In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn about the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual impacts of trauma. Participants will be invited to participate in a mindfulness practice and to share coping ideas and resources.

Dr. Nicole Elliott: How to make lemonade from the most sour lemons: A guide to finding purpose and hope after tragedy.

In the wake of losing a loved one to suicide, survivors often feel hopeless, isolated and despaired. It can feel like all is lost and life now bleak and empty. However, survivors of traumatic events such as suicide can not only heal from this painful and traumatic experience, but can actually grow into stronger, more driven and resilient people. In this workshop, Dr. Elliott will facilitate an interactive discussion on healing from trauma and finding purpose and hope following surviving a suicide. This workshop welcomes both individuals and families at whatever stage of their journey to come together and share their experiences of grief, healing and hope.

Justina Zatzman: Moving With Pain: Yoga and Mindfulness for Traumatic Grief
Moving forward from suicide loss demands everything of you. You might have been told that you need to let yourself feel grief – to let the pain be pain. It sounds right, but it’s easier said than done when things get overwhelming, exhausting, excruciating or hopeless. In the moments when it feels like we’re drowning in overwhelming pain, we tend to either collapse or try to numb the feeling out. Recommendations for self-care can sometimes, counter-intuitively, encourage numbing out by trying to replace pain with something more pleasant, missing something important along the way. Distinct from self-care, self-compassion involves not just tolerating, but also getting to know what hurts so that you can truly respond to your own pain. Self-compassion – so important, and so often under-emphasized in our lives – is crucial for coping and moving with grief and pain.
This experiential workshop will help participants better understand the self-criticism, anxiety and anger that complicate grief. It will also introduce participants to grounded and practical ways of working with these challenges, including guided trauma-informed yoga and meditation practices. Practices that emphasize embodied awareness of what we’re experiencing help connect us to the present moment and cultivate self-compassion and self-soothing skills, which ultimately help us move with grief.


*No experience with meditation or yoga is required. Practices will be brief and accessible (no special clothes or mats required).


Apanaki Temitayo Minerve: Intro to Textile Art Workshop: Group Collage
Textile Art Collage for beginners, this workshop we will be exploring techniques in shapes, colour and texture. This workshop will be participant-driven and will be exploring themes of mood, music and sense of self with the use of different collage techniques using African fabrics on canvas. The participants will work in two groups and have the opportunity to create abstracts works around these themes.


More information:

Justina Zatzman, MA, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Social Worker in private psychotherapy practice, a part-time professor at Centennial College, the Membership and Hospital Program Manager for Workman Arts and a certified yoga instructor.

Kathryn Mettler, MSW. Kathryn holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Social Work, and is currently pursuing a PhD with a focus on trauma-informed care.

Leah Parsons. Leah is an award winning change maker, compassionate global steward

Cheryl Mercer B.A., MEd. (Counselling), Cheryl Mercer is a Grief Counsellor in private practice (HOPE Grief Counselling). Cheryl is a survivor of multiple suicide losses.

Apanaki Temitayo is currently the Artist-In- Wellness for CAMH. Workman Arts Artist-In-Residence for 2017-2018. As part of Workman Arts Art-Cart Program at CAMH, she teaches art to participants with mental health and drug addiction.

Dr. Nicole Elliott, PHD, Clinical Psychologist, Survivor of Suicide Loss, who is a volunteer with the Traumatic Loss program.


Speaker and Workshop facilitator information:

Kathryn Mettler, MSW

Kathryn is a professional development specialist with over 15 years experience in the social-service, and health-care sectors. Kathryn is a full-time professor at Humber College, as well as a consultant specializing in trauma-informed care. Kathryn holds a BA and an MSW, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Science.


Dr. Nicole Elliott

Dr. Nicole Elliott is a clinical psychologist, currently working at CBT Associates providing individual and couples psychotherapy and at Ontario Shores Center for Mental Health Sciences as clinical lead for a pilot project aimed to improve access to mental health treatments in Ontario for those experiencing anxiety and depression. She is a survivor of suicide, and since the death of her older brother Trevor in 2008, she has become a fierce advocate for de-stigmatizing mental health and promoting access and awareness of mental health treatments for those in need. In terms of her own self-care, She is also an avid runner, reader and enjoys snuggling and watching Netflix with her Sphinx cat, Lord Voldemort.

Cheryl Mercer B.A., MEd. (Counselling)

Cheryl Mercer is a Grief Counsellor in private practice (HOPE Grief Counselling). For six years, Cheryl offered peer support to participants of the Traumatic Loss Survivor Support Program (Distress Centres of Greater Toronto). In addition to private practice, she currently facilitates a parent room sudden loss group at the Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children. During the past 20+ years, Cheryl has worked with individuals experiencing suicide and homicide loss, sexual abuse, debilitating injuries and the loss of a loved one through illness and accident.

Many years ago Cheryl’s life was shattered by the loss of five family members. Her father and both siblings would die by suicide in a ten month period. Within a year of their passing, two family members would lose their lives to cancer. HOPE inspired her to live through the darkest of days.

Justina Zatzman, MA, MSW, RSW

Justina Zatzman, MA, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Social Worker in private psychotherapy practice, a part-time professor at Centennial College, the Membership and Hospital Program Manager for Workman Arts and a certified yoga instructor. In her private practice, she specializes in the treatment of trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, relationship and family difficulties, and self-criticism. With Workman Arts, she manages inpatient arts programming at CAMH and manages the growth and diversification of the Workman Arts membership. She is a longtime practitioner of yoga and meditation, and teaches yoga and mindfulness meditation both in and out of clinical contexts.

Apanaki Temitayo Minerve
Born in Toronto and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Apanaki Temitayo M is a single mother of three. She is an author, spoken word poet, actor, multimedia artist and teacher. Her canvas compositions are an expression of her Trinidadian heritage and spirituality. Apanaki is currently the CAMH 1st Artist in Wellness. She is currently an Art Facilitator with Workman Arts Art Cart Program and the Textile Museum of Canada, Community Voices Outreach Program. She was the Workman Arts Artist-in-Residence for 2017 - 2018. She has been featured at Workman Arts, Being Scene 18th Annual Juried Exhibition 2019 at the Toronto Media Art Gallery. She has made her international debut at the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, 9th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: Maya Angelou, with her original artwork, Mama’s Watching in South Carolina. Her New York debut at The Amazing Nina Simone Documentary Film by Jeff Lieberman, with her piece Nina Simone Fragmented. She honored to be the first woman of color to be in the Room Magazine: Woman of Color Issue for 2016 and her commissioned artwork Oshun Blooming was the face of Grow Room Feminist Literary Art Festival, 2018. Apanaki currently teaching her art practice at Workman Arts Encore Program for Inpatients, with experience as a facilitator CAMH, Gifts of Light, Workman Arts Art-Cart Program, Toronto East General Hospital, Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, Drop-In Art Class and at Workman Arts, CAMH. Rise Asset Development, helped to support her in becoming the Sole Proprietor of APNKI Designs. Her handcrafts and fine artwork merchandise, soft furnishings and accessories, are all made in Canada. She received an Honorable Mention for 2015, and received the Rise’s Peer Powered EnterpRISEr of the Year Award at the Dr Paul E.Garfinkel Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement 2015, RISE Asset Development, from Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto, 2015.

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Date and Time

Location

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

St. Michael's Hospital

209 Victoria Street

Toronto, ON M5B 1T8

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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