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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.

 


 

Covid-19: Managing the Next Wave

Many of us are in panic mode right now. We’re alarmed by rising COVID-19 cases and exhausted by managing pandemic life.

The good news? There are things we can do right now to get us through the second wave. Here are eight health tips to think about and to discuss with a health care provider.

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Youth Job Connection Workshops

Are you under 30 and looking for work? Get ahead in your job search, connect with employers and get paid to do it! YJC-Lutherwood now offers online help.

Click here to get more details.

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Family Pulse-December 2020

Welcome to December! 

 

Inside the December issue of Family Pulse you will find information on:

All Feelings are OK 
SEAC Updates
What's Happening at WRFN
Information, Resources, & Opportunities

 

You can read the online version of Family Pulse here or download a pdf copy. 

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Putting Family Mental Health First: 7 Tips to Get Ready for the Holiday

It’s Been a Hard Year.

Here, at Children’s Mental Health Ontario, we know that many families and children across the province have been struggling deeply with mental health in these very unusual, trying days. On top of it, parents have been working hard for our families to manage health risks and find our way through the pandemic. For example, the return to school has been extraordinary for so many of us, especially those of us with a child or youth struggling with mental illness. These last few months, we have had to forgo traditional celebrations that are important to families and children, such as Thanksgiving dinners or trick-or-treating on Halloween.

And now, the holidays are upon us.

It’s a lot.

But here is the thing: We are doing it!

We are doing our best – and that is good enough right now. We will get through this next stage, too.

 

We know that many parents are going to be working overtime this year to find new ways to recreate the holidays to not lose the magic of the season. We know you want to keep the sparkle in your kids’ eyes, to keep them engaged and connected. With the support of our network of child and youth mental health experts, we have rounded up some tips and ideas to help your family support your child’s mental health and manage the holidays in a pandemic.

Télécharger: Le bien-être mental de votre famille d’abord: 7 conseils pour se préparer à la période des fêtes  

 

1) Prioritize Mental Health in the Holidays

Even in a typical year, the holidays can be an especially challenging time of year for many families. Expectations of the holidays can be hard on children– and, let’s face it, it’s not ‘the happiest time’ for all of us. When you prioritize your or your child’s mental wellness, you can focus on what works for your family. As a parent, consider the things that feel realistic for you to do and then offer those choices to kids/youth to pick from. So many of us struggle with saying no over the holidays – perhaps this year, you will feel confident about not over committing your schedule and slowing things down; and that’s ok! Also, keep in mind that having time to connect with each other is important, but so, too, is having space for everyone to have their own personal time.

 

2) Plan Early

Routines and predictability are often beneficial (within reason) for children and youth with mental health challenges. It’s a good time to start having conversations with children about what the holidays may look like so that they understand things will be different this year and they know what to expect. This also allows them to be a part of the new planning process. What is important to them? Is there something new they would like to try? Planning early also gives us time to let other relatives or friends know in advance to manage their expectations, too. Also, consider connecting with the parents of your children’s friend to arrange days before or after the holidays for play dates, either virtually or in-person/outdoors, depending on local public health advice. This can include coming up with a list of outdoor winter activities.

 

3) Focus on What's in Your Control

While we are all doing our part to manage the pandemic, so much of what is happening in the province – and the world – is out of our control right now. This is a good time to focus on the things that are in your control. When it comes to traditions of the holiday season, consider how you can incorporate the traditions, or at least parts of those traditions, that are most important to your family. What are some of the things your family can do to bring a little holiday magic into your home? It could be a simple thing like baking cookies, preparing a special family recipe, or planning for a holiday nature walk as a way to get outdoors and move. If seeing family is important to you, consider the ways you can do that, for example, setting up Zoom while your different households have a special meal. It won’t be the same, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.

 

4) Managing Disappointment

For a lot of us, we are going to need to accept that the holidays just won’t be what they usually are. That will be disappointing for a lot of children (and parents!) It’s important to acknowledge that disappointment, especially for children. Give kids a safe space to share their feelings and be heard; let them know this is hard for you, too. Reminding your kids – and yourself – that this is a temporary measure in a very unusual time may make it all feel a little less daunting. Read More from Parenting Author Ann Douglas on How to Help Kids Manage Feelings of Disappointment

 

5) Supporting Children Through Grief

The holidays can be especially hard for families who are grieving. Remembering your loved one, telling stories, and laughing about good times together are all ok to do, and can provide comfort to your child. You might work together to come up with ideas for memorializing your loved one over the holiday. Remember that it’s okay for you child/youth to feel upset as there have been a lot of different types of loss this year.

Read our post on Helping Children Through Grief Here.

 

6) Take Care of You

The holidays can be a stressful and anxious time for parents, too. Make sure that you are eating, sleeping and enjoying the holidays as well. Maintain healthy boundaries. Take time when you need it, don’t feel guilty saying no when you need to. Do what is best for you and your family. Consider planning a day where the family could play a game or watch a movie together. But don’t forget to have some scheduled time where kids can play games and parents can take some time out as well.

 

7) Take Care of You

The holidays can be a stressful and anxious time for parents, too. Make sure that you are eating, sleeping and enjoying the holidays as well. Maintain healthy boundaries. Take time when you need it, don’t feel guilty saying no when you need to. Do what is best for you and your family. Consider planning a day where the family could play a game or watch a movie together. But don’t forget to have some scheduled time where kids can play games and parents can take some time out as well.

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Recreational Respite-Virtual Services

Check out what Recreational Respite is offering for Virtual Service this December.

Click here an overview of programs.

 

Click here for...

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Kerry's Place- Foundational Family Services & Groups

Kerry's Place has lots of learning opportunities for families and groups children with ASD.

 

Check out their Foundational Family Service catalogue here for learning opportunities for parents.

Check out their Groups catalogue here for chldren & youth to participate in & learn new skills.

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Wellbeing Waterloo- Finding Hope Movement

We invite you to join our ‘Finding Hope’ movement.

 

Hope is that feeling we experience when we see—in the mind’s eye—the possibility of a better future. Hope acknowledges the obstacles and pitfalls in front of us, but is unwavering in its resolve, unbreakable in its foundation, and stronger than we can comprehend. Finding Hope invites you to look around and find your reason to be optimistic. To be hopeful.

Finding hope invites you to look for and acknowledge where you find hope.


Take a picture. Write about it. Film a short video. Share the hope you found with others.

 

Visit Wellbeing Waterloo Region's website to find out more about Finding Hope and how to get involved.  

WWR is hosting a series of information sessions on the Finding Hope movement. Visit this document to see dates and times for the information sessions.

Use the hashtags #FindingHopeWWR and #FindingHopeMovement across social media!
  

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APSGO Kitchener Waterloo Parent Support Group

Are you a parent of an acting-out youth? The Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario (APSGO) might be able to offer you support. 

For their flyer, click here.

For information on the KW Chapter meeting times and place, click here.

 

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Empowering Ability-Live Masterclass

FREE MASTERCLASS AVAILABLE UNTIL OCT 24TH! 
Helping your loved one with a developmental disability to gain their independence, and build their own life.  

 

Build Your Plan, Get Expert Strategies, & Connect with Other Families. 

To register, please send a short email to eric@ericgoll.com with the subject 'Masterclass Access' and we will send you access within a couple of hours.

 

What you’ll get in this (free) Workshop:

  • The thinking and strategy you must apply before you start trying to find housing, supports, and other families. This is the most important step to ensure that you aren't wasting your time.
  • Get the Planning Tools and Start Building Your Plan that will create amazing opportunities for your son/ daughter/ loved one. And yes: we will do this together, and you can do this even if you are tired or feeling overwhelmed.
  • Learn how other families are creating a safe & sustainable future & how you can do the same! Plus: learn live how you can start taking easy bite-sized steps to help your loved one create their own life and independence.

**You will get these three (3) free live trainings, plus bonus tools, and resources, and live events that will total over 6 hours of free training!!!

 

Places on the (FREE) LIVE EVENT are limited! Reserve your seat now and join us for the event that will change the way you think about creating the best life with your son/ daughter/ loved one...

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PCMH - Parents for Children's Mental Health, Waterloo Chapter monthly support meetings are back!

PCMH - Parents for Children's Mental Health, Waterloo Chapter, is excited to let you know that our monthly support meetings are back!  

 

ADHD Support Group is the THIRD WEDNESDAY OF every month.

The General Family and Caregiver Support group is the FOURTH TUESDAY of every month.

Due to Covid-19 Measures, our regular meetings cannot be in person at this time.  Instead, our meetings will be online using ZOOM.

To register in advance, please email waterloo@pcmh.ca

We will email a direct link to the meeting the day before each meeting event.

Please note: Zoom is available from any laptop, as well as on your phone using the Zoom app.  If privacy is a challenge in your home, you can join us from your car, your backyard, or while you walk around the neighbourhood.

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