4th Annual
Suicide Loss Survivor Support Conference:
PATHWAYS FORWARD

The immediate aftermath of a suicide loss is filled with uncertainty and often no clear path forward. Through group discussions, workshops, meaningful conversations and networking we will explore the unique journeys we take from the early moments after their death, to months and years later as we come to terms with pain, sorrow, and loss.

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Hello to you all.

I’m looking forward to re-connecting with all of you at our Annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference. This year’s conference on November 17th will be an incredible opportunity to network and learn as we together explore the rough terrain of surviving a suicide loss. The details about the day, including workshop options and registration information are included in this message.
 
Personally, I can’t wait to see those of you whom I've met again & meet those of you who are joining us for the fist time.
 
Thank you,

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Alex
Manager, Traumatic Loss Survivor Support Programs

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We have an important story to tell about depression & mental health.

Our Keynote

George Smitherman

George is a former Ontario Cabinet Minister (Health, and Energy), 2010 Toronto mayoral candidate, Father of three,  and Suicide Loss Survivor.

After marrying this partner Christopher, they adopted two children (Michael and Kayla) to join their family including Chris' daughter from a previous relationship.

Unfortunately, after struggling with his mental health, Chris, who was reportedly suffering from clinical depression, took his own life by suicide after going missing in December 2013.

After taking time to begin to navigate his path forward following this heartbreaking moment in his life, George chose to lend his voice as an advocate for mental health awareness in an effort to help others.

We're honoured to have George join us to share his thoughts and personal experience.  

The Agenda

9:00 AM
Registration

9:30-9:45AM
Welcome & Introductory Keynote

9:45-10:15AM
Keynote and Q&A with George Smitherman

10:20-10:45AM
Break

10:50-11:20AM
Documentary Viewing

11:20-12:30PM  
TBD

12:30-1:30PM
Lunch

1:30-2:45PM
Workshops (Choose from ONE of four detailed below)

2:45-3:00PM

Break

3:00-3:30PM
TBD

3:30-4:00PM
Closing Activities

4:00PM
Conference End

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Our Speakers

OPTION 1: MINDFULNESS PRACTICES & GRIEF AFTER SUICIDE

About the Workshop:

About the Speaker: Justina Zatzman, MA, MSW, RSW

I specialize in working one-on-one with trauma, grief, family and relationship challenges, self-criticism, anger, shame, health concerns, life transitions, depression and/or anxiety.

 

OPTION 2: WRITING ABOUT GRIEF

About the Workshop:

About the Speaker: Maureen Pollard, MSW

A Registered Social Worker, Maureen Pollard obtained a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1992 and has been working in the field of social work with families and children for more than twenty years. She returned to school and graduated with a Master of Social Work degree in 2011, and obtained a Teacher/Trainer of Adults certificate in 2013. Maureen is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, the Ontario Association of Social Workers, the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts and the Traumatic Incident Reduction Association. Maureen is a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider, specializing in supporting individuals who have experienced a traumatic loss.

 

OPTION 3: A WEB OF GRIEF: FOSTERING HEALTHY GRIEF IN SELF AND OTHERS

About the Workshop:

About the Speaker: Andrea Warnick, RN, MA

Andrea Warnick is an educator, registered psychotherapist, nurse, and thanatologist. 
She specializes in ensuring that adults, children and youth have access to caring and informed support when experiencing the serious illness, dying, or death of someone close to them. She has learned through her 20 years of experience that such support goes a long way towards helping individuals of all ages integrate their grief in a way that allows them to thrive in life.

 

OPTION 4: SUICIDE LOSS AND TRAUMA

About the Workshop:

About the Speaker: Tamara Rober, RP

I am a graduate of the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy and am a Registered Psychotherapist (#003620) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. I am also a member of the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy.

I am a regular speaker and trainer, I educate front-line workers on trauma and addictions, understanding and fostering mental wellness, understanding stigma related to mental health and substance use, as well as vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. Furthermore, my passion for teaching has led me to accept a faculty internship with the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy to begin September 2016.

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For 50 years, Distress Centres has provided 24-hour support, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to individuals in our community who are at risk and their most vulnerable. We are Canada’s oldest volunteer delivered crisis, emotional support and suicide prevention + intervention + postvention service agency.

Our services are available via hotline, online chat, and text. We also offer face-to-face individual as well as group support and counselling to those who have lost a loved one to suicide or homicide and are navigating the aftermath.

Distress Centres continues to expand, and our program participants & call volume increases each year. Distress Centres now answers more than 82,000+ calls annually, and is a pilot site for the recently launched National Suicide Hotline (Canadian Suicide Prevention Service) via Crisis Service Canada.

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PLEASE HELP US CONTINUE TO SAVE LIVES.

We're a small charity that works our hearts out to provide emotional support and crisis intervention to our community's at-risk and most vulnerable individuals. Each donation enables our dedicated team and compassionate volunteers to provide life-sustaining support.

We do our best to stretch every dollar as far as possible to deliver our life-sustaining support to those who desperately need us but, we urgently need your help.

Every day Distress Centres receives 400+ calls. In 2017, crisis calls increased over 30%, ONTX (online chat & text) messages increased by almost 60% and our survivor support programs also saw a 38% percent jump in participation. 

Each donation enables Distress Centres to provide life-sustaining support to individuals at risk and their most vulnerable in our community. Your generous contribution will make an incredible impact on not only our callers and program participants but also their friends, families and colleagues. You can save lives.

You can donate now through our secure online giving form by clicking below.

 
 
 
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Why become a monthly donor?

It’s easy. It’s flexible. It’s convenient. Most of all, it’s rewarding & impactful. Setting up a monthly gift provides significant and long-term impact on the work that we do at Distress Centres.

Your consistent contributions create an invaluable resource of sustained funding for our organization which allows for us to ensure continued support services for individuals in our community who are at-risk and their most vulnerable. They also allow us to plan ahead for long-term projects that truly change the lives of hundreds of people who are desperately in need.

YOU CAN SELECT THE MONTHLY AMOUNT convenient FOR YOU

You can give monthly in any amount of your choosing.

YOU CAN PAUSE OR CANCEL AT ANY TIME

You can conveniently adjust your amount, pause or cancel your donations at any time by contacting donations@torontodistresscentre.com.

YOU WILL RECEIVE TAX RECEIPTS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY

As a monthly donor, you will receive a tax receipt each month, and one consolidated tax receipt following the end of each calendar year for your total year’s contribution.

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FOUR (4) crisis line volunteer responders TRaINED each year.

OR

FOur (4) suicide loss/HOmicide loss survivor support grief facilitators trained each year.

OR

provides six (6) hours of crisis line service = 100+ crisis line calls from people who desperately need us each year.

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EIGHT (8) crisis line volunteer responders TRaINED each year.

OR

EIGHT (8) suicide loss/HOmicide loss survivor support grief facilitators trained each year.

OR

provides twelve (12) hours of crisis line service = 200+ crisis line calls from people who desperately need us each year.

TWELVE (12) crisis line volunteer responders TRaINED each year.

OR

TWELVE (12) suicide loss/HOmicide loss survivor support grief facilitators trained each year.

OR

SERVICE FOR 300+ crisis line calls from people who desperately need us each year.

 

Thirty (30) crisis line volunteer responders TRaINED each year.

OR

Thirty (30) suicide loss/HOmicide loss survivor support grief facilitators trained each year.

OR

SERVICE FOR 500+ crisis line calls from people who desperately need us each year.

 
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SUICIDE LOSS SURVIVOR SUPPORT

There is no universal or appropriate way to cope with a traumatic loss. However, sharing feelings and thoughts, facts and fears, helps to provide a sense of reason and normalcy in a situation without any rules.

Our suicide/homicide loss survivor support program is led by professional staff and highly-trained volunteer grief facilitators. As a result of the unique nature of suicide and homicide bereavement, and the shared value of connection and peer support, our program offers both individualized and group meetings.

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HOMICIDE LOSS SURVIVOR SUPPORT

There is no universal or appropriate way to cope with a traumatic loss. However, sharing feelings and thoughts, facts and fears, helps to provide a sense of reason and normalcy in a situation without any rules.

Our suicide/homicide loss survivor support program is led by professional staff and highly-trained volunteer grief facilitators. As a result of the unique nature of suicide and homicide bereavement, and the shared value of connection and peer support, our program offers both individualized and group meetings.

 
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VOLUNTEER

Fundraising is an exciting way to use your skills, talents, and expertise. It can get you out of your comfort zone and connect you to those around you while raising money for those who are
navigating their most vulnerable moments with Distress Centres. 

We're happy to help you develop your fundraising event or activity by providing a fundraising toolkit and resources. 

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Fundraise

Ever wanted to give back to your community in a meaningful and enriching way? Now is your chance! Volunteers are a vital part of Distress Centres.

Every year, volunteers contribute more than 100,000 hours to our 24-hour distress and crisis lines as well as our survivor of loss support programs. Their contributions provide immediate access to help and support. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available!

 
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