Mental Health Caregiving

Caregiving, Conflict, & Compassionate Communication

Conflict is a normal and common part of relationships that still catches us
off guard and leaves us frustrated and confused.

Join the Ontario Caregiver Organization as we explore ways to understand
each other, work and grow together, even when we don’t agree with one
another. We’ll also look for strategies that better meet everyone’s needs

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Transforming Caregiver Guilt & Resentment

Join as we investigate perspectives and tools to translate and transform caregiver guilt and resentment. Going beyond surface self-care efforts, we’ll identify underlying needs and imagine strategies to meet those needs more deeply, so we have the personal reserves to care for others.

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Do-It-Yourself Acupressure for Stress Relief: Tools for Caregiver Self-Care

Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often
forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too. Regardless of age, sex, and race and ethnicity, caregivers report problems attending to their own health and well-being while managing care giving responsibilities. As caregivers experience varying levels of stress and burnout; self-care is central to creating balance in one’s daily life and care giving journey.

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Cultivating Mindfulness for Well-being Among Caregivers

The Ontario Caregiver Organization is proud to present Dr. Alexandra Fiocco; Director of the Stress and Healthy Aging Research Laboratory at Ryerson University. In this presentation, Dr. Fiocco will discuss the impact that chronic stress has on the mind and body. She will encourage attendees to identify the ingredients to their stress and how the experience of stress is manifested in the body. Dr. Fiocco will also provide an overview of mindfulness meditation, an evidence-based stress-management tool that has been shown to decrease stress and support the well-being of family caregivers.

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The Many Faces of Grief: A Mental Health Conversation for Caregivers

The webinar is being presented by Sam Miller, President of Sam Miller Consulting. Mr. Miller is a registered psychotherapist with extensive experience in Trauma Response and Treatment and Wellness Initiatives.  This event  explores the many aspects of grief as it relates to the mental health and well being of caregivers.  In a deep discussion about coping, loss and trauma;  participants will explore the different ways in which we process grief and how we can overcome the challenges that arise during these difficult times.

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Out of Touch: Caregiving in the time of COVID-19

Physical distancing, while necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, creates challenges for caregivers to connect with loved ones amid an unprecedented time of global health and economic crises.  Watch the webinar, to learn how to optimize social connection with loved ones and and get the emotional support you need and deserve now as a caregiver.

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Dr. Nasreen Khatri is a registered clinical psychologist, gerontologist, neuroscientist and educator with over 15 years of professional experience.  From 2004 to 2012, she led the Mood and Related Disorders Clinic and founded the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) service at Baycrest.  In 2012, she joined the Rotman Research Institute (University of Toronto), where she innovates treatments for depression and anxiety for older adults, including CBT, mindfulness and exercise. Dr. Khatri’s research has been funded continuously since 2006 and has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and book chapters.  She has completed over 400 presentations, serves a mental health advisor (Bell Let’s Talk, Girls’ E-mentorship, Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Jane Goodall Institute) and has been cited by CBC, CTV, The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal and 20 other media outlets.  Dr. Khatri consults on Psychological Health and Safety Standards in the Workplace to the public and private sector.  She is Vice-chair of the McGill Women, Leadership and Philanthropy (WLP) Board.  

In 2013 she was awarded the Women of Baycrest Innovators in Research Award and in 2016, The Government of Ontario Leading Women, Building Communities Award for “the enormous impact of her work” as a psychologist and gerontologist at Baycrest.

The Caregiver Journey

This webinar offers a deep look into the journey of caregiving for someone with a mental health illness and is presented by Shane Christensen and Sam Miller.

Shane Christensen has recently completed his memoir, Kicking the Darkness, detailing his experience with mental illness. The book chronicles personal tragedy and triumph over adversity. Shane’s perspective on mental illness and schizophrenia is based on a lifetime of experiences with close family members, with his brother being affected by mental illness and Shane’s son having been diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young adult. Shane’s son has been in recovery and is a talented songwriter and guitarist who has produced two cds. In light of the current COVID 19 situation, Shane is giving away his audible book online where it be found at: www.youtube.com & www.kickingthedarkness.com

Sam Miller is a Registered Psychotherapist and consultant with over 25 years of experience. He brings particular expertise in trauma counselling and mental health advising. Sam serves on a number of trauma response teams with a particular interest in post-traumatic stress, resilience, and wellness.

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Caregiving Video Tips During COVID-19

We understand that caregiving during this ever evolving situation has its challenges.

Together, with Michal Goldstein a Registered Social Worker, we have partnered to develop a series of two-minute video tips to help you navigate through this unprecedented period.

  1. Maintaining Balance – Scheduling, structure and sanity
  2. Finding support where there seems to be none
  3. Caregiving during a pandemic – how to manage changes within the healthcare system
  4. Too close for comfort – managing being home bound during this difficult time
  5. Strengthening connections during the COVID-19 pandemic

Michal Goldstein is a Registered Social Worker working at Dynamic Health Clinic in Toronto where she sees adults for  individual, couples and group counselling. She is also the founder of Creating Connections, a play-based therapy practice in Toronto, where she works with children suffering from mental health and behavioral challenges. She has over a decade of experience working with caregivers to support them in improving their ability to cope with the challenges inherent in caring for a loved one.

Michal has developed numerous workshops and support group programs utilizing knowledge of interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness techniques to support individuals suffering from physical health, mental health, and parenting challenges. She is passionate about bringing evidence based practice to the forefront of the clinical social work field. Michal knows both first hand and from professional experience the challenges that come with caring for a loved one with a physical and mental health illness and is grateful for the opportunity to bring more awareness, education and support to this community. Michal can be reached at michal@dynamichealthclinic.ca with any questions or to schedule a private teleconferencing appointment.

Mental Health Wishlist

In Ontario, 3.3 million ordinary people, including children and youth, are caring for family members, partners, friends or neighbours with physical and/or mental health needs.

While many caregivers find their role rewarding, previous research from Health Quality Ontario has shown that one in four caregivers are experiencing distress, anger or depression and according to CIHI research, nearly half (45%) of caregivers of those with dementia are experiencing distress.

A 2019 opinion poll from OCO indicates that 46% of caregivers who support someone with a mental health challenge are not handling the situation well. 57% say they are not coping well emotionally and 47% say they are not coping well physically. A strong majority agree they often feel anxious or worried (87%), overwhelmed (85%), frustrated, helpless and trapped (82%) and are getting disturbed sleep (80%). 

OCO wanted to dig deeper to better understand caregiver mental well-being and the factors that contribute to caregiver distress, anxiety and depression. The results are shared through The Caregiver Wishlist  Caring for the Mental Health of Caregivers. The Wishlist reveals what caregivers believe, if addressed, can improve their own mental health.

Our findings are based on interviews and surveys of more than 1,000 Ontario caregivers, including caregivers who support a child/youth or an adult with mental health challenges.

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