Caring for our clients, caring for ourselves

One of the things we’ve been hearing a lot from members over the past few years is that the people you serve are dealing with increasingly complex issues. More and more—regardless of service area—you are required to support their mental health in addition to their various other needs.

Programs serving young children and families are needing to attend to the mental health needs of struggling parents. Programs that help adults find employment need to do so while also helping those adults support their own kids who may have anxiety or depression. Programs aimed at helping seniors are also needing to help the adult children of those seniors who are struggling in the role of a caretaker.

Clearly, the people of this province are needing more (and different) support than we may be used to. But that’s only half of the picture. Because the health and well-being of our clients are informed by the health and well-being of our staff. In order to support the mental health needs of the people walking through your doors, you also need to be able to support the mental health of your staff members.

And that is why The Federation’s October Professional Development Conference is focused completely on mental health and wellness.

Workshops, Sessions, and Speakers

Regardless of organization make-up or size, regardless of the service areas we focus on, mental health is something that deserves more attention. And this conference has been planned to support the mental health of both the people who work in social services and the people we serve.

To help us meet this lofty but important goal, we have carefully crafted a line-up of exciting workshops, sessions, and speakers including a keynote by Elaine Decker and a workshop led by Nene Kraneveldt.

Keynote: Take Your Trickster to Work

Keynote Speaker Elaine Decker will talk about alternative approaches to dealing with challenges and stress in the workplace. Participants will learn why, when, and how to open what philosopher Hannah Arendt calls a “two-in-one dialogue” in order to draw out their creativity, humour, and flexibility in the face of stress and frustration.

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of This Place

On Thursday morning, Nene Kraneveldt will lead participants through a 3-hour facilitated workshop on fostering culture and wellness in the workplace. As part of the workshop, Kendra Gage will share stories about applying this approach within a community social service organization. This workshop will be a blend of hands-on practical experience, sharing, and working in groups. It will include real-world approaches and a useful toolkit of resources.

Other speakers and sessions will address mindfulness, technology and mental health, cultural safety and more! There will be lots of new learning and an intentional focus on skills, tools, and attitudes that participants can take back to their organizations.

Sign-up now! Online registration closes soon!

Our goal is for all conference participants to leave this event feeling informed, energized, refreshed and more confident in their skills. So don’t delay—book your spot now! The online registration deadline is September 17th.

Call for speakers! Promote your programs!

The Federation focuses a good deal of energy and attention on the things that aren’t working in our sector. But we also know that there is inspiring, innovative, and insightful work happening each and every day. We want to showcase those efforts and create opportunities for Federation members to learn from each other.

As such, the October Professional Development Conference will also include a number of sessions highlighting the innovative and responsive work of BC’s community social service organizations. And that’s where you come in!

If your organization is interested in sharing your unique approach to work or a program model you’re proud of let us know! We are looking for 20-minute sessions on the following topics: substance use supports, supervision models, engagement in mental health services.

Did you recently make a small change in practice that led to some unexpected and positive outcomes for your clients? Have you finally achieved a long-term goal? Are you excited about something new you’ve just begin exploring? We want to hear about it!

These don’t need to be huge changes or formal presentations. We just want to hear about good ideas that you’re excited about or changes that you’re proud of.

Please email Bess at The Federation office if you are interested (and include some basic information about the services you wish to talk about). Participating organizations will receive up to 2 registrations free of charge for the speakers involved.

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director