The SCALE Program returns October 10, 2023!
The SCALE Program (Supporting Caregiver Awareness, Learning and Empowerment) aims to empower caregivers with practical information and skills to focus on their own mental health and well-being needs by offering:
• Weekly psychoeducational webinars (LIVE or RECORDED) divided into two 4-week sessions (see below for Session 1 and Session 2 topics).
• Strategies, tools, and resources to better cope with difficult caregiving emotions
• Free and confidential online group &/or individual counselling (OPTIONAL). Space is limited, registration is based on first come, first-served basis.
Looking for more information on SCALE?
Join our next Instagram Live event on Tuesday September 5th at 12 p.m. to learn more about the SCALE program! The event will feature Marida Etherington who is a Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse for the last 20 years and has both personal and professional experience with caregivers. Marida is the facilitator of the live webinars and one of the therapists offering free group and/or individual counselling. To watch the event, simply follow the Ontario Caregiver Organization on your personal Instagram account!
Webinars were designed to focus on a series of subjects that are applicable to new or experienced caregivers, positioning you and your mental health at the centre of the sessions.
You may register for all of Session 1, Session 2, or individual webinars to suit your needs. As a caregiver, we understand how valuable your time is and that is why we developed a program to best suit your schedule.
If you are unable to attend the live sessions of the webinars, you can still watch the recording from a previous session below.
SESSION 1: UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE OF CAREGIVING (October 10-31, 2023)
- Week 1: Your Caregiving Journey
- Week 2: How Caregiving Stress Affects You
Week 3: How Caregivers can Manage Anxiety & Anger
Explore where feelings of anxiety and anger come from, and how to manage them in the context of your caregiving role.
Week 4: How Caregivers can Overcome Sadness & Guilt
Learn to overcome feelings of sadness and guilt that may be overwhelming you.
SESSION 2: STRATEGIES FOR CAREGIVER MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING (November 7-28, 2023)
Online Group and Individual Counselling
All counselling and coaching sessions are free of cost and confidential.
Sessions are delivered by trained mental health providers through Dynamic Health in Toronto, Ontario with personal caregiving experience and/or caregiving expertise. Only registered participants will receive an online booking link to sign-up for counselling services. Space is limited and based on a first-come first-serve basis. Counselling sessions are only available to residents of Ontario.
To receive the maximum benefit from group or individual counselling, it is highly encouraged you register for the full session of psychoeducational webinars if planning to access these services.
Online Group Counselling
What does the group counselling offer?
- Guided awareness practice.
- Explore weekly webinar topic.
- Realize that you are not alone.
- Give and receive support with other caregivers.
To offer maximum support, all group counselling sessions will close registration after the 2nd week in each session. This is to allow caregivers to develop relationships and to build on weekly lessons. If you are interested in group counselling, please register early!
What does individual counselling offer?
- Individualized support and validation through zoom or the telephone.
- 30 minute or 45-minute options.
- Options outside of set shifts.
- Opportunity for problem-solving.
Scale Program Facilitators
Marida Etherington (RN BScN MN)
Marida Etherington, RN BScN MN, has been a Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse for the last 20 years, and has both personal and professional experience with caregivers. She has worked in various settings such as Acute Mental Health Units and community-based work. In her clinical and therapeutic work, she supports clients who are caring for loved ones and has presented webinars on stress, fatigue, and caregiver burnout. She strives to help individuals better understand what they are experiencing and to provide suggestions that can help them to better cope. In her late teens and early 20s, she watched her mother caring for her grandmother as she struggled with Alzheimer’s. As a parent, she cares for her son and his medical issues. She strives to role model self-care and takes time away from work to be able to keep up with all her personal and family needs. In all the roles she plays, Marida understands fatigue, stress, and worry.
Deanna Alakoozai (MSW)
Deanna Alakoozai is a Registered Social Worker and has a special interest in working with caregivers. She is a graduate of Wurzweiller’s master’s degree in social work and provided individual psychotherapy sessions for caregivers during the winter 2023 SCALE program. She is skilled with, and thoroughly enjoys, providing caregivers insight into their emotions and needs, and works to empower them to take steps towards taking care of their own needs. She is kind and supportive in her approach and strives to listen deeply to each client, so they feel heard and seen. She has a history of working with other organizations creating alliances to further better community mental health and is currently a Psychotherapist at Dynamic Health Collaborative in Toronto.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to create an account with eventbright to register for The SCALE Program?
No! OCO uses Eventbrite for registration and communication purposes only. You do not need to create an Eventbrite account to register for the SCALE Program. Simply provide your name, email and some questions regarding your caregiving experience.
Can this program help me with feelings of anger, sadness or guilt as a caregiver?
Yes! The SCALE program is designed to help caregivers unpack difficult emotional experiences in related to caregiving while also providing meaningful strategies to enhance their mental wellness.
I feel burned out and completely exhausted. Will this program help me with caregiver burnout?
Yes! We highly recommend watching the topics that resonate with your burnout and to sign-up for group or individual counselling right away to receive professional support, as sessions are limited.
Can this program help me navigate the system and get help for my care recipient?
No! This program focuses on the caregiver’s mental wellness and although system navigation may cause caregivers distress, it will focus on how to change your thinking around it instead of helping you find the exact support you are looking for. Check-out our Helpline for community navigation support.
Can this program help me manage relationship difficulties with my care recipient or family members?
Yes! A lot of caregiver’s sign-ups for group or individual counselling where they can go more into detail about their relationships that are causing negative emotions. It is helpful to watch the webinars and then meet with a counsellor to help you apply it to your situation.
Do I have to join for the whole 4-weeks?
No! We understand the flexibility caregivers need. Sign-up for any weeks you are interested in or have the time for.
Can I sign-up halfway through the program?
Yes! Registration for each weekly topic will remain open until the webinar goes live on that date.
Is there a way to re-watch a live webinar if I missed it?
Yes! We have pre-recorded webinars on all weekly topics. You must have registered to access the exclusive link when the program is running, however, all recorded webinars will be published for anyone to access on our YouTube Channel once the program is over.
Do I need to participate in the counselling sessions?
No! Both group and individual counselling sessions are optional after each weekly topic is presented.
Are the counselling sessions free?
Yes! Both group and individual counselling sessions are free of cost and confidential if you are looking for additional support within your caregiving role.
Do I need to watch the webinar before I sign-up for counselling?
Preferably! There is no requirement, but we have noticed both the caregiver and counsellor benefit greatly from having the caregiver review the webinar before the session.
This program is brought to you by the Ontario Caregiver Organization in partnership with Dynamic Health Clinic.
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