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 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 contact@threadsoflife.ca

Upcoming sessions you don’t want to miss…

Exploring Grief & Loss History with Karen Lapierre Pitts - April 14

April 14, 2021  3-5 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

A loss history can allow us space to reflect on past & present grief experiences, giving insight into our own grieving styles and ways we can adjust to life after a significant loss. You may be dealing with the loss of a loved one, an injury, illness (physical or mental), loss of a job or way of life. While nothing may feel normal, understanding what is normal for you can be invaluable to the way you cope and begin to heal.

On February 9, 2000, Karen Lapierre Pitts’ family suffered from a traumatic workplace tragedy. Karen has been part of Threads of Life for many years and is currently the organization’s family support manager working directly with families. She is also an active Family Guide and member of the Speaker’s Bureau. Threads of Life helps families heal after they are affected by a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. It is currently working with more than 3,000 family members from across Canada. Threads of Life promotes public awareness and accountability for workplace health and safety. Its mission is to lead and inspire a culture shift where work-related injuries and illnesses are morally, socially and economically unacceptable. Many things have changed in Karen’s family’s life since that fateful day.

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An Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture and its Benefits with Sue Morling - May 18

May 18, 2021  3-5 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

An Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture and its Benefits You may have heard of Therapeutic Horticulture and thought “How can a plant give me therapy?!” Gardening promotes physical activity, mental acuity and social interaction or solitude. All age groups can find something interesting to do in the garden. You can have a large vegetable garden or one pot of flowers. Gardening can be a year-long activity or take a break in the winter. You don’t even have to have a garden to garden! The choices are endless. It all depends on why you want to have a garden. Join Sue in this workshop to learn the many benefits of gardening. It is for avid gardeners, beginners and self-proclaimed black thumbs. You will come away from the workshop with a new awareness of the natural world surrounding you each day. “Gardening is fundamentally an act of enormous hope because everything you do in the garden is for the future” Barbara Frum, journalist 1937-1992

From and 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 with Mitchell Hewson HT 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 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.

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Getting Unstuck: How to make Friends with your Grief & Trauma with Roy Ellis - June 17

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

Grief, loss and trauma can enter our lives with force or as a slow steady trickle but either way, some of us will end up stuck in our pain. Getting bogged down in our trauma or grief can make us feel powerless and anxious.

Luckily getting unstuck from our pain is possible, but it demands a willingness to face our losses with self-awareness, gentleness and perseverance. In this session, participants will learn practical steps to helping themselves and their loved-ones take small but decisive steps out of stuckness and into a more flexible and responsive life.

To descend into hell is easy. But to return—what work, what a labour it is! –Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC)

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 Royfellis.com.

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Moving Through the Storm: From Surge Capacity to Self-Care with Emma Morris - July 15

July 15, 2021  6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems that allow us to “keep going” for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations. But after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease, your body and mind may continue to rely on those systems, long after your surge capacity has been depleted. In this session, explore what your surge capacity systems are, learn how to recognize the signs of burnout in yourself, and make a plan to build your self-care bank account.

Emma is a digital storyteller, self-care researcher, and experienced nonprofit communicator. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Manager at Women in Communications and Technology (previously: Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support, Healthbridge Foundation of Canada, and Nobel Women’s Initiative). Emma holds a Master of Professional Communication from Ryerson University where her research focused on communicating self-care in feminist non-profit organizations. She is the winner of the Associate Dean’s Scholarly, Research, and Creative Award for Best Major Research Paper (Professional Communication, 2018).

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