FamiliesConnect through Online Workshops

If you or a loved one are affected by a work-related tragedy, FamiliesConnect Online Workshops offer a chance to learn healthy coping skills, alongside others who’ve been through a similar experience. 

Each workshop session is led by a grief counsellor, Threads of Life staff member or skilled volunteer. There will be practical tips and information specifically tailored for those dealing with a life-altering workplace injury, occupational disease, or workplace fatality. Participants are free to share as much or as little of their own experience as they feel comfortable doing. 

Workshops are offered at no charge, thanks to the support of Threads of Life’s partners and funders. 

Registration is first-come, first-served. Seats at each workshop are limited, so if you register and find you cannot attend, please notify us. 

If you have questions or need assistance, please call 1-888-567-9490 or email [email protected]

Upcoming workshop sessions you don’t want to miss…

Tragic optimist or Cynical pessimist - June 8

Wed. 8 June @ 6 – 8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

Do you go through life with your cup half-full or your cup half-empty? Are you a worrier? Do you waste your good energy on problems that may not come to your door? Or do you just take one day at a time and deal with what life throws in your path? This session will explore the benefits of changing our thoughts to change our mindset, thus affecting our attitude toward life experiences, loss and motivation. We will explore our world view whether it be one of abundance or lack of abundance.

Debbie is a Duty Consultant with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. Her 25 + years of experience provide great hands on experience In her role as she answers question from employers throughout the province of Ontario. Debbie also works with various companies to ensure that they are aware of their roles and responsibilities are in relation to health and safety. Debbie is a graduate of Mohawk College and holds certifications in Volunteer Management, Fundraising and Development and Occupational Health and Safety.


Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in Daily Life? - July 20

July 20, 2022 6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

Would you like to find ways to relax and ground yourself during stressful periods? Are you hard on yourself and want to develop a kinder and more compassionate relationship with yourself? Developing a sense of mindfulness, which is non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts and feelings can help reduce stress reactions, anxiety and improve mood. This two-hour session will introduce participants to the basics of mindfulness, and will also contain a number of​experiential exercises. The session will also introduce the concept of developing and using self-compassion as a tool to soothe and calm ourselves in our daily lives. Participants will leave the session with some concrete strategies they can practice and use in their daily lives.

Ruth Frolic is a Registered Psychotherapist working in private practice and with university students. Ruth has a special interest in supporting those in grief as well as helping her clients to develop mindfulness, gratitude and self-compassion in order to strengthen their resiliency. Ruth studied at the University of Toronto as well as the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy. Ruth lives in Toronto with her partner, their three children, two cats and one special dog.


GUILT & SHAME: How to be gentle with giant feelings - Aug 17

August 17, 2022 6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

Workplace deaths and injuries can generate all kinds of powerful feelings of guilt and shame. We can feel responsible for what happened, guilty that we didn’t warn our loved-one to be more careful. In the aftermath of workplace death, grieving people sometimes feel guilt just for being alive. Those who survive a workplace injury can feel ashamed of what has happened to their body, mind, vocation and families as a result of the incident.

Understanding and working with guilt and shame are important if we want to heal from tragedy and trauma. This workshop will introduce you to guilt and shame so that you can differentiate how they operate inside of us. We will also examine steps for working with guilt and shame in a gentle way so that we can slowly find our way out of unhealthy and often aggressive states of self-talk that arise after a workplace death or injury.

Roy Ellis has spent the last 30 years working in environments where loss and trauma are experienced every day. While working for community-based organizations Roy worked with prisoners, the children of prisoners, people with addictions, the homeless, street workers and people with HIV/AIDS. Roy spent eight years working as a Mental Health therapist to people with acute mental illness and 12 more years as the Bereavement Coordinator with Nova Scotia Health. As a private consultant, Roy has worked with the Dalhousie University Emergency Medicine, DND Military Family Resource Centre, Halifax Regional Police, Veith House, Ceasefire, Department of Justice Victim Services, Mobile Outreach Street Health, Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselling Association of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Labrador Construction Safety Association and Threads of Life Canada among others. Roy is now a consultant and therapist working in private practice where he sees clients by Zoom. Learn more at royfellis.com.


Writing Your Story for Healing and Sharing - Sept 21

September 21, 2022 6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

As our Threads of Life values state, “Sharing our personal losses will lead to healing and preventing future devastating work-related losses.” Many family members find comfort and hope through writing their personal experience to share in Threads of Life’s newsletter or blog, or just for themselves. If you’d like to write your story, get some tips for how to get started, and what details and techniques will help pull your reader in. If you’ve shared your story in our newsletter in the past, there’s still more writing and sharing you can do! We’ll explore some ideas. Everyone is welcome, and there’s no commitment to write for anyone but yourself.

Susan Haldane manages marketing and communications for Threads of Life. She has a deep-rooted love of language, and writes poetry in her spare time.

Sarah Wheelan is the Communications Coordinator for Threads of Life. While she certainly writes for work, she’s also found journalling and sharing her story to be a significant source of healing following her own workplace tragedy.