In 2006, the Mental Health Commission of Canada estimated that 1.2 million young people are affected by mental illness, but less than 20 per cent receive appropriate treatment. The Child and Youth Mental Health certificate provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the complex, multi-faceted child/youth mental health journey, exploring areas such as development, risk factors and early indicators, and treatment options. Participants will learn about some of the most common mental health issues affecting children and youth, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, anxiety, depression and attachment. This program will also discuss the importance of fostering resiliency and well-being in children and youth. The unique needs of gender independent and trans children and Indigenous youth will be explored.
Throughout the program there will be an emphasis on a collaborative approach to children's mental health and how to work effectively with the support systems surrounding the youth, including schools, family and other professionals.
To complete the Child and Youth Mental Health Certificate, you must select a minimum of 84 course hours from the list below. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years. Participants can only take one of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Resilience or Mindful Self-Compassion. You do not have to be working toward the Child and Youth Mental Health Certificate to take any of these courses.
The latest research and understanding of the adolescent brain indicates that adolescence is an opportune time to help adolescents with insecure attachments make significant progress in developing secure attachments. Although by adolescence attachment styles are imbedded in personality and the brain, changes in the brains of adolescents allow for the adolescent to become cognizant of their attachment styles and the impact on their relationships. They are able to examine their relationships with parents, to reflect on their patterns in relationships with peers and other adults, to leave behind the harmful patterns of relating they learned from their families and to risk creating new patterns in their relationships.
This workshop will explore attachment in adolescents and examine the categories of attachment as they develop in adolescence. The workshop will present the latest information on brain development in adolescence and its implications for adolescent therapy. A model of treatment will be presented that focuses on helping adolescents have awareness of their early history and its influence on their present sense of self and patterns in relationships. The relationship with the therapist is the crucial vehicle for change. The model will incorporate helping the adolescent make changes in their present relationships so that they can enter adulthood with the capacity for secure adult attachments.
The workshop will include:
Case examples, videos and exercises will be presented to demonstrate interventions.
Mindfulness is increasingly being shared with children in educational, medical, mental health, community and home settings. Research shows that mindfulness practice with children can reduce stress, improve emotion regulation, foster academic learning, reduce anxiety, increase executive function, and promote overall well-being.
This experiential workshop will offer an introduction to teaching mindfulness to children that is informed by the intersecting knowledge of mindfulness and neurobiology. Through story, art, music, movement and ‘formal’ practice, participants will learn to share mindfulness and neuroscience-info with children and families in age-appropriate, playful and creative ways. All playful practices will be infused with mindfulness principles, such as acceptance, letting go, patience, non-judgment, non-striving and self-kindness and compassion.
Participants will also have the opportunity to lead mindfulness-based practices and inquiry aimed at children and families. With step-by-step scaffolding, participants will further develop their skills and confidence in sharing mindfulness with children.
This course focuses on building resilience in children who have experienced trauma by reviewing the various definitions of childhood trauma and exploring how trauma impacts the brain and areas of development specifically in a child or youth. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) is reviewed to demonstrate how trauma interrupts development and presents itself through behaviours, reactions, responses and symptoms that often mimic or contribute to the development of mental health disorders. The critical core components of evidence based treatment models are reviewed to highlight effective intervention practices. Concepts from positive psychology and the narrative approach are integrated into this course, along with the recent research on resiliency, well-being, post traumatic growth and self-regulation. Pathways to resilience and protective factors in childhood are emphasized so that participants feel hopeful and have concrete strategies to help. Strategies on creating a safe place for children and youth who have experienced trauma, that specifically attends to their needs, will be explored along with the key elements involved in helping to create the context to shift a trauma story into one that focuses on resilience.
Information is provided throughout the presentation using video, activities, conversation and handouts. Many resources will be shared to provide participants with tools to further integrate building resilience in their work with children and youth who have experienced trauma.
Participants will learn:
This practical, hands-on workshop is meant to instil hope for those supporting children, youth and families in their journey, or potential journey, through the children’s mental health system. Participants will better understand and confirm their role in the journey is critical and invaluable to leading to a more optimistic and manageable outcome.
Participants will leave the workshop with practical resources, a sense of hope and, hopefully, a sense of excitement about how they can be as supportive and as effective as possible in their work with children, youth and families.
To better understand:
This course will introduce the use of expressive arts when working therapeutically with children and adolescents with a variety of needs and goals.* Rationale for, and examples of, using the arts for expression, wellness and healing with youth will be provided. Basic concepts from drama therapy, art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy and the use of writing, poetry and play will be explored. In addition, intermodal approaches that use numerous arts-based methods will be demonstrated. The course will provide information about working from childhood through adolescence in a developmentally appropriate manner.
Rather than “telling,” this course will focus on learning through “doing.” It is designed to be highly experiential, allowing participants to actively engage in arts-based methods as both a participant and a facilitator. In addition, information will provided throughout the course using video, conversation and handouts.
*Note: This is an introductory course and calling oneself an arts therapist is a protected term. If you are interested in becoming certified in expressive arts therapy or one of the specific modalities, further information about official training programs and national organizations will be provided.
This practical, hands-on workshop is meant to help professionals better recognize what behaviours might be indicators of a potential fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), why their feelings of frustration when a child/youth is not learning from previous experience are likely justified and what to do next.
FASD describes the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities. Individuals with an FASD are often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Not taking into consideration the brain differences caused by prenatal alcohol exposure can exacerbate difficulties for individuals.
Participants will leave this workshop with practical resources and a sense of hope. With the right supports and strategies in place, there is an increased likelihood of success and interdependence.
In this workshop you will learn:
Understanding the impact of crisis and trauma on peoples’ lives and being able to respond in meaningful ways are crucial skills for those working in the helping professions. This two-day interactive workshop will provide both a conceptual framework and practical skills for assessment and interventions when working with those who have experienced a range of crisis and/or traumatic experiences.
This workshop will leave participants with:
Sue and Sandy use a relaxed, interactive teaching style with lots of discussion and time to reflect on the material. Come to the workshop prepared to interact and practice the skills!
The dying and death of a family member or loved one has complex, profound and lasting effects for children and youth. Fearing that children were "too young" to understand or to cope with death, adults have often tried to protect them from the devastating, yet unavoidable and natural, experience of grief. Growing knowledge about young people’s needs and capacities has supported the recognition that parents, professionals and community members can support them throughout these experiences by communicating openly, including and engaging them, and fostering resilience amidst adversity.
This interactive workshop will explore relevant theories, research, clinical implications and concrete strategies for supporting young people from infancy through adolescence, who are facing their own death or that of a family member or a loved one. Knowledge and strategies will be transferrable to adults who are parents or caregivers, educators, health or mental health professionals, volunteers and other community members.
Participants in this interactive workshop will:
In 2015, a survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association found that 46% of girls and 26% of boys in grades 7 to 12 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Clinicians are experiencing a rise in children, youth and their families struggling to cope with debilitating symptoms that are affecting their day-to-day lives. There is a growing need for therapists to expand their understanding as to the complexity of potential influences, as well as develop effective interventions, for anxiety and depression across childhood to adolescence. In addition, therapists are increasingly being called upon to work collaboratively with the communities such as schools and extra-curricular organizations to assist in better serving struggling young people.
Childhood and adolescent anxiety and depression must consider the relationship between the larger systemic context of the 21st century and individual and family stress related to challenges with diminished internal and external resources, culture, developmental transitions, etc. Discussions will also focus on individual and family resiliency within a strength-based perspective. Participants can expect lively discussions, a multi-media presentation and hands-on practical applications and exercises.
Over the course of two days we will explore:
This workshop is designed for the helping professional to build their capacity in boosting the resiliency and well- being in children and youth. This workshop focuses more on the role of prevention and reviews universal concepts for building resiliency as a community for our children and youth. Strategies reviewed include those that can be used as everyday practices to protect children and youth while incorporating a collective framework to raising resilient children and youth. Concepts of self- regulation, social emotional leaning and the role of community partnerships and parenting, a collective tiered framework, early intervention, social determinants of health (and how to mitigate them as a helping professional both individually and collectively) will be incorporated into this workshop. We will also review parental mental health, parent engagement, and what parents need to raise healthy, resilient children. Information is provided throughout the presentation using video, activities, conversation and handouts.
Participants will learn:
This one-day educational and experiential workshop will provide current research that supports the science, components and benefits of self-compassion. Through discussion, mindfulness meditation and experiential exercises, you will gain practical skills to help bring self-compassion into your daily life. You will learn how to motivate yourself and others with kindness rather than criticism. Practices will be introduced to ease stress for caregivers.
Please wear comfortable clothing. Bring a mat and meditation pillow or bench if you use these with a sitting practice.
CACCF: 6 core continuing education hours.
Many families in today’s technological-oriented society are concerned about losing the connection with their youth to "screens", including social media, video and computer games as well as additional influences, including peers. In addition, family’s face challenges with developmental or life transitions, immigration, stress, loss or trauma, where attempts to manage may result in attachment wounds or a sense of disconnect. Family conflicts, decreased communication, unsuccessful problem-solving or emotional distancing may pre-dominate.
This competence, strength-based workshop will explore useful theoretical frameworks in understanding the attachment relationship with children, youth and their families as well as the practical application of engagement approaches to increase connections among members.. Ideas will be shared through the use of didactic presentation, video, group discussion, case examples and practice exercises.
Together we will explore:
An informative and interactive workshop designed for service providers in order to understand the conceptual impact of the helping field on personal and professional selves. Skills, theories and practical applications will be explored and practiced on both an individual and organizational level.
Adolescence is a time where impulsivity can lead to risky behaviours in the average teen. When impulsivity is added to mental health issues and/or troubling familial, peer, academic or cultural environments, the stage can be set for the increase of additional risk in the form of either suicidal thinking or behaviours, or self-harming behaviours that are not intended to be fatal. In spite of that, these behaviours frequently raise alarm bells in those associated or working with these youth, be they family members or friends, school personnel, counsellors or social service staff, as examples.
This workshop will focus on how to:
In this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of the complexities of gender identity and expression. Participants will learn of the unique needs and issues facing gender variant and trans children and youth. Participants will learn practical ways in which they as a professional can better support the inclusion and well-being of gender variant children, youth and their families.
This one-day workshop aims to help participants gain an understanding of the unique considerations of working with youth who are experiencing addiction issues. This workshop will explore how substance abuse can influence the developmental stages from adolescence to young adulthood. Through interactive learning modules and case studies, an overview of bio-psycho-social approaches to assessments, interventions and treatment modalities will be discussed.
Participants will be provided with information about resources and treatment options currently available.
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