The FamiliesConnect Workshop Series continues to grow as more families sign in each month. The flexibility of an online session is unparalleled — especially as a newcomer to Threads of Life. Choose to engage as little or much as you like, camera on or off, type in the chat. FamiliesConnect workshops offer you a chance to get to know the volunteers, families, and staff behind Threads of Life, from the comfort of your own home.

Every session is led by a grief counsellor, Threads of Life staff member, or a skilled volunteer. Each workshop is designed to provide insight into a specific area, while gathering on your experience as participants. You can share as much or as little as you want, as the community supports you.

Partners and funders have made it possible for workshops to be offered at no charge. Sessions are recommended for those who are 14 years of age and older, who are emotionally ready to heal, share their grief and hear others’ experiences. Seats are limited, so register today!

FamiliesConnect: Ask a Therapist

Join Roy on November 17, 2021  6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

Upcoming workshops:


Ask a Therapist with Roy Ellis

November 17, 2021  6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

As we move toward the holiday season, it can be wise to stop for a moment and ask ourselves how we are inside; what is hurting, what is wounded, what is strengthening, what is robust? Therapy isn’t the search for answers, but rather a discovery of what happens to us when we dare to look at our brokenness with curiosity and kindness. You are invited to bring your questions concerning mental health, relationships, spirituality, and trauma into a safe space for shared conversation. No topic too big, no topic too painful. Roy will be more than happy to share his expertise to help you begin to untie some of the therapeutic knots that can sometimes strangle our healing. “Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful parts of us.” David Richo

Roy Ellis is a therapist, author and speaker in Nova Scotia. Roy brings 30 years of practice working with grief, trauma, sudden loss, He provides frontline support for private, government and community organizations which have experienced an unexpected death, tragedy or workplace disaster. He is the Bereavement Coordinator with the Integrated Palliative Care Service of the Nova Scotia Health Authority where he meets the psycho-spiritual needs of the dying and grieving. He is a Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner (CSCP) with The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, and received his Masters of Divinity from Queen’s University. Roy has worked extensively with many organizations including Threads of Life, facilitating sessions at family forums, volunteer training, and contributing articles. Learn more at


Reflecting back & looking forward together

December 8, 2021  1-3 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

Ensuring that you are not alone on this journey is important to us. Putting aside all the additional challenges we faced this year, we were able to be together in many ways. Encouragement and support from peers is an amazing gift when going through difficult times. We hope with this time we have together we are able to reflect on the year behind us, where we are at now, and look ahead as a community of caring and compassionate family members who know the devastating impact of workplace tragedy. Come as you are -connect with others- we would love 


Mindful Eating, A Journey to a Healthier You with Laura Collins

January 26, 2022  6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

During this interactive discussion attendees will learn about healthy eating with reference to Canada’s Food Guide as well as exploring the relationship between stress/mood and food, hunger and satiety cues and mindful eating. This session will look at setting realistic nutrition goals, journaling and provide simple meal prep ideas.

Laura Collins is a Registered Dietitian, originally from Manitoulin Island. She moved to London Ontario to concurrently complete a Food and Nutrition and a BA in Kinesiology at UWO. She moved to Hamilton to start her Dietetic Internship at Hamilton Health Sciences in 1999 and one month later her brother Brent was killed in a workplace accident. Despite being devastated, she was determined to graduate with her class to make her brother proud and was immediately hired at McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) upon completion of her internship. She has enjoyed an exciting career as a Clinical Pediatric Oncology Dietitian over the past 21 years. Laura has presented internationally on the benefits of proactive enteral nutrition in pediatric oncology, has been published in several medical journals discussing body composition measurements, nutritional status changes and childhood cancer survivorship. She has developed many nutrition practices at MCH including the Nasogastric Tube feeding P&P, TPN guidelines, educating/mentoring interns and medical learners, quality improvement initiatives such as cultural diversity related to menu selections and translation. Some of the nutrition education she provides to patients and their families are healthy eating, hunger cues, energy balance, food play, dietary modifications and mindful eating.

Hamilton has been her home to develop her career, raise her family of two children with her loving husband and enjoy their beautiful home on the beach.


Introduction to Expressive Arts with Story Cards and Poetry with Sue Morling and Michele Desjardins

February 16, 2022  6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

Expressive art is all about the process of making art not the finished product. It is a practice that invites people to respond creatively to things that matter. It uses all forms of art to authentically express ideas, thoughts and emotions which can lead to personal insights and a sense of well-being. It can involve all art forms – visual, movement, sound, poetry, and storytelling. The use of our innate creativity in whatever art form, fires up the neurons in the brain and assists in developing new neural pathways. Extended practice of mindful creative endeavours will help make new neuron connections! In this workshop we invite participants to be playful and even a bit silly to create a fantastical story using presented story cards. The facilitators will guide the participants through a group story making process. Participants will be asked to record words from each storyline that resonate with them. When the story telling is complete the facilitators will guide the group in an easy poetry creation using the recorded words. There will be time to reflect and share the poem with the group.

Sue graduated from the Haliburton School of Art and Design in 2019 with her certificate in Expressive Arts. From an early age Sue knew that she would pursue a career that involved being outside. She started out in the environmental field but found that she had a need to be “of service” to people. She returned to college to study recreation and leisure where she was introduced to the field of Horticulture Therapy. One of the speakers at a job fair said “with your environmental background, you would like it”. That was back in 1999! Through training workshops at Homewood Healthcare Centre, being a member of the Canadian Horticulture Therapy Association and training in Expressive Arts at Haliburton School Arts she has developed a strong philosophy that nature can nurture a person. For the past 18 years she has been practising therapeutic horticulture (recently with a sprinkle of expressive arts) with the residents and day participants at Services and Housing In the Province (SHIP) – Peace Ranch Program. She lives near Orangeville, Ontario beside Island Lake Conservation Authority with her husband, son, daughter and dog, Bella.

Following decades of corporate work, including a number of years at WSIB, Michele discovered the blending of her passions for art and helping people as an Expressive Arts Practitioner, Haliburton School of Art & Design. She has furthered her studies and practice in Therapeutic Arts and Nature-Based Expressive Arts with the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy, British Columbia. Currently living in St Thomas, Ontario in a small home with a handful of ‘bad barn cats’ and lots of gardens.. Michele offers workshops both online and locally. She can be found every Sunday morning in the Flying Pig Studio on Facebook at michele.desjardins.54. It is a private group and is free. If you are interested in joining a bunch of creative people from all over the world, shoot a message to Michele or email at [email protected].

To register for one (or more!) of the above sessions, click here.

Sarah Wheelan