Have you or a loved one been affected by a workplace fatality or occupational illness? You’re not alone.
Threads of Life welcomes everyone. We’re a safe place to land for anyone dealing with the aftermath of a workplace tragedy. Through donations, we provide supportive programs and services to help people along their journey of healing.
Volunteer Family Guides
A personal connection to a trained volunteer who has gone through a similar experience, understands, and offers one-to-one support.
What kind of training do Volunteer Family Guides receive?
Using a 10-module resource guide that was developed in partnership with Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), participants proceed through an in-depth training program that includes:
- principles of grief
- active listening
- story listening
- communication skills
- healthy coping skills
- a snapshot of the legal and inquest process, and
- an overview of how to work with existing community resources
Volunteer Family Guides are members of Threads of Life who volunteer their time to help others living with the consequences of a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. The guides are far enough along on their journey that they are able to offer support to others who may be just starting.
Guides provide support by listening on the phone, meeting in person for a walk (if geographically feasible), or chatting via email. Along with peer support, volunteer family guides also link members to other community organizations.
Every guide goes through intensive on-site training to become peer support providers. They learn how to draw on their own “life story” to help another through their journey of healing.
To connect with one of our trained volunteer family guides, please email Kate Kennington, Program Manager – Family Support, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 1-888-567-9490.
Trained Volunteer Family Guides
“My volunteer family guide was an integral part in supporting me through my husband’s inquest. Her insight provided me with an outline of what would occur during an inquest, and most importantly, how my voice could be heard. Her wisdom, guidance and warm heart offered clarity in a confusing legal system made up of paper pushing and jargon. I was able to get through this with her unwavering support.”
An opportunity to meet with other families, while learning healthy coping skills, active listening, and how to help each other in a community of support.
Family Forums bring families affected by a workplace tragedy together to share, network and, ultimately, heal.
At these special events, spouses, parents, siblings and close friends gather to learn coping skills for grief, active listening skills, tips on how the occupational health and safety system works, self-care, and so much more.
“It is our safe haven, a place to cry, to share, to heal and to grow. The bonds we make are strong and unite us in our purpose. Some are new and fragile in their personal journey and others who have travelled the path search them out to lend a hand and walk beside them. We reserve this time to reflect on all things lost but never forgotten. We fortify and draw strength from each other and deep bonds of friendship are forged.”
Peer Support Groups
Provide an opportunity for Threads of Life members to meet locally to share their stories and learn healthy coping skills together.
Have you lost a loved one to a death in the workplace? Talk to others who get it.
Threads of Life’s local 6-week peer support program offers a safe, non-judgmental place to find hope and healing by sharing experiences with others. Our peer facilitators are not professional counselors; rather they have experienced a workplace tragedy in their own family and are on a similar journey.
Each meeting explores a different theme, such as:
- Am I grieving normally?
- Coping with special days, anniversaries and holidays
- Taking care of yourself & practical day-to-day strategies
- Secondary losses & changing relationships
Prevention and Awareness
Provide opportunities to promote workplace injury prevention and awareness and take part in building a culture of safety.
Sharing our stories through the Speakers Bureau
Joining the Speakers Bureau
Volunteers share their personal stories at workplace health and safety events, conferences, schools and post-secondary institutions. Threads of Life provides training and coaching to all members of our speakers bureau.
Leading the Way with Steps for Life
Participating in a local Steps for Life Walk
Families, friends, co-workers, employers, health and safety professionals, and others come together for an annual memorial walk for awareness and fundraising. At Steps for Life, one can make a difference for families affected by a workplace tragedy!
Threads of Life believes strongly in the value of information, and of sharing our stories, to help achieve our mission of healing families and eliminating future tragedies.
Additional resources available include our newsletter Threads, “For Families” series of resource booklets, and Threads of Life’s report “Workplace tragedy: Employer communication and crisis response”, and others.