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Treatment Groups and Workshops

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Individual Support, Groups, and Workshops for Children/Youth and Parents/Guardians/Caregivers

Individual Support

Social Work Services

Social Work Services provides individual child and youth mental health and wellbeing supports in the following areas:

  • Mental health, such as anxiety or low mood,
  • School avoidance and non-attendance,
  • Personal or social stressors (ie. adverse childhood experiences, peer relationship, stress substance use,)
  • Family stressors that impact on the student’s functioning at school
  • Experiencing systemic oppression and discrimination (racism, poverty, colonialization, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia, poverty etc.)
  • Crisis, such as imminent risk of harm to self or others.

Individual Support can include consultation, assessment, intervention and support in accessing community services; and may include a child or youth’s circle of care, such as caregivers, teachers, community service providers and identified caring adults. All services are provided by professional social workers registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and are available in all schools.  Services may be provided in person and/or virtually, via MS Teams.

To access Social Work Services please contact the Principal/Vice-Principal of your school or (905) 527-5092 ext. 2806.

Groups

Social and Support Groups for Transgender, Non-binary, Gender Non-conforming and Gendering Questioning Children and Youth

  • Transcend Youth Group: Transcend is a social and support group for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender questioning children and youth from HWDSB schools. Group meetings are held once/month for two hours and are facilitated by peer leaders with lived experience. Transcend meetings are a welcoming environment which allows youth to develop social connections with others who share some aspect of their identity, so that they can help and support and learn from each other and from the facilitators. Please contact dbyers@hwdsb.on.ca for more information.

Child/Youth Treatment Groups offered by Social Work Services and Psychological Services

  • AFFIRM: Is an 8 session Cognitive Based Therapy informed treatment group specifically for Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ youth to develop coping skills for anxiety and stress related to experiences of discrimination related to their sexual and gender identities. The goals of AFFIRM are to decrease unhelpful thoughts, feel better about yourself and lives and to make healthy choices for sexual and mental health. Register online projectyouthaffirm.org or contact dbyers@hwdsb.on.ca if you have any questions.
  • Coping with COVID-19: This skills-based group specifically targets children and youth (Grades 6-12) who are feeling anxious about COVID-19 such that their daily functioning has been negatively impacted. It will explore topics such as: 1) How to take care of myself during COVID-19 2) How are my thoughts, feeling and behaviors connected? 3) What can I do to relax when I’m stressed? 4) How do I cope with my worried thoughts? 5) The benefits of physical activity 6) How do I maintain social connections during this pandemic? 7) Coping with Uncertainty 8) How can mindfulness and relaxation techniques help? In summary, this 7-session group will offer strategies for managing symptoms of stress, low mood and increased worry related to coping with living through a pandemic. To access Social Work Services, please contact the Principal/Vice-Principal of your school or (905) 527-5092 ext. 2806.
  • TRAILS Anxiety and Depression: TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) groups are designed to help our children and youth (Grades 6-12) who struggle with moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and/or depression by teaching evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness skills. TRAILS A+D aims to help children and youth develop effective coping skills and strategies to help manage their emotions and choose helpful behaviours. This is a 10 week program that may be offered virtually and/or in person, as public health guidelines allow.  Children and youth who might benefit from the group are primarily having difficulty with both anxiety and depressive symptoms/low mood that is impairing their functioning. Children and youth interested in participating should have some awareness of their struggles and would be motivated to improve their coping skills. Parent sessions are also available as part of the program, so that parents have a better understanding of their child’s mood and anxiety difficulties and effective strategies to continue to improve overall wellbeing.  This is a closed group and we are currently accepting applications. To access Social Work Services, please contact the Principal/Vice-Principal of your school or (905) 527-5092 ext. 2806.
  • Teen Activation Group (TAG): TAG is a treatment group for youth (Grade 9-12) struggling with depression and anxiety who are not ready to access other treatment options at this time. The group is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Behaviour Activation Therapy. The goal of the group is to help child and youth to reduce their depressive and anxious symptoms and increase their overall activity level, so they can access other treatment options or so they no longer require treatment.  The group engages in education sessions, as well as, social and physical activities.  This is an open group and referrals are accepting on an ongoing basis. To access Social Work Services, please contact the Principal/Vice-Principal of your school or (905) 527-5092 ext. 2806.

Social and Support Groups for Parents/Guardians/Caregivers of Transgender, Non-binary, Gender Non-conforming and Gendering Questioning Children and Youth

  • Transcend Parent Group: Transcend is a social and support group for parents/guardians/caregivers of transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender questioning children and youth. Group meetings are held once/month for two hours to provide an opportunity to share the ups, downs and questions about your child’s gender identity, gender fluidity and transition with a welcoming group of parents/caregivers, with support from a facilitator with lived experience who works in the Hamilton trans community. Please contact dbyers@hwdsb.on.ca.

Parents/Guardians/Caregiver Groups offered by Social Work Services and Psychological Services

  • Families Worrying Less Together (FWLT): FWLT is a six session evidenced informed parenting program for parents with shy, inhibited, or anxious children. Parenting programs are offered to parents of children in JK-Grade 2 and Grades 3-6. The program is based on Cognitive Behavioral strategies with particular attention to Avoidance, Parental Reactions and Parent Anxiety. Parents gain practical experience in providing proper exposures to allow their children to gain confidence in “facing their fears”. For more information, please contact FWLT@hwdsb.on.ca.

Workshops

Parents/Guardians/Caregiver Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops offered by Social Work Services and Psychological Services

  • Mental Health and Well-being – Creating a Mentally-Healthy Home: This session is intended to help parents and caregivers understand factors related to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents at home and at school. This session will provide a foundation of common language related to mental health, the importance of early recognition of mental health concerns, and factors that promote well-being.  Their will be a discussion of strategies that parents and caregivers can use to support the mental health and well-being of children and youth in their care.
  • Mental Health and Well-being – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: This session focuses specifically on ADHD (inattentive type, hyperactive type and combined type). Research regarding the onset and neurobiology of ADHD will be presented.  Other difficulties commonly associated with, or resulting from, ADHD will be addressed.  Effective strategies that parents and caregivers can use in the home will be discussed.
  • Mental Health and Well-being – Anxiety: This session focuses on increasing participants’ understanding of anxiety. Participants will learn to identify signs and symptoms, understand what they can do to help, and take away some strategies that can be used at home, school, and in the community.
  • Mental Health and Well-being – Low Mood: This session focuses on increasing participants’ understanding of low mood and its impact on students’ performance and overall well-being. Participants will gain knowledge about the signs and symptoms associated with low mood, learn how to help, and take away strategies that may be beneficial at home, school, and in the community.

To register or seek further information about any mental health and wellbeing workshop, please contact lechapma@hwdsb.on.ca

Updated on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
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