Download the CARE4YOU Halifax Agenda here.


9:00AM- 4:30PM

Gen X, Millennials & Boomers – The Self Care Revolution by Generation

Presentation PDF

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.

Led by: Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.
Co-Executive Director, TEND

Meaghan Welfare

And Meaghan Welfare, TEND Associate

For full details on this training click here.

WTF: Strategies to Keep Helping Professionals Grounded and Centered

Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW

Led by: Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW
Coordinator, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences And TEND Associate

For full details on this training click here.


8:00AM REGISTRATION (Coffee & Tea Provided)

Beyond kale and pedicures: What works to reduce compassion fatigue and burnout?

Presentation PDF

Françoise Mathieu

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.
Co-Executive Director, TEND

There is now over two decades of research proving that working in high stress, trauma-exposed professions such as community mental health, law enforcement, child welfare and healthcare carries elements of risk to the care provider: compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout can take a cumulative toll on us as individuals and as teams. What can professionals do to protect themselves from the difficult stories that they work with on a regular basis, limited resources and high volume of work, while still remaining effective and compassionate?

Using the most recent research in the field, this evidence-based and trauma-informed presentation will explore assumptions about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, the organizational and personal barriers that professionals face in their daily lives, and offers new and creative approaches to transforming these occupational hazards.

9:45 BREAK

Bringing the Ivory Towers into the Swamp: Transforming Compassion Fatigue From Concept Into Skills

Brian Miller

Brian C. Miller, Ph.D.
Director, Pediatric Intensive Behavioral Health
Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital

The negative effects of exposure to the retelling and images of trauma—indirect trauma—and compassion fatigue are well known. Most approaches aimed as lessening the effects of secondary trauma emphasize self-care strategies for recovering after exposure.  In contrast to the self-care approach, the CE-CERT model (components for effecting clinician experience and reducing trauma, Miller and Sprang, 2016) synthesizes evidence-informed components to sustain the emotional regulation of the helper.  The result is to enhance the real time experience of the worker even as they are in the midst of difficult situations. There is evidence to suggest that employing these skills will enhance the compassion satisfaction of human service workers as they perform this service to their communities.

Compassion Fatigue 101

Presentation PDF

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.
Co-Executive Director, TEND

Compassion Fatigue (CF) refers to the profound emotional and physical exhaustion that helping professionals can develop over the course of their career. It is characterized by a shift in a professional’s sense of hope and optimism about the future and the value of their work. CF damages feelings of compassion and empathy towards clients in need and colleagues, which in turn can cause a decline in the quality of care provided.
Although some of the challenges of the work cannot be changed overnight, staff can learn concrete tools which will equip them to deal with the realities of their work.

Grounding Techniques and The Neurobiology of Stress

Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW

Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW
Coordinator, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences
And TEND Associate

Do you ever find yourself asking “Why am I reacting this way?” How come I don’t have more control?”
The pace, content and competing demands of the modern workplace has left many of us operating in constant stress overdrive.  As a result, we see many negative physical, emotional, behavioural and relational consequences in the workplace.  This session will teach the basics of how your brain reacts to stress and introduce you to some techniques to move you out of states of reactivity into the place of possibility where we are centered amongst chaos and can choose how we wish to respond.

Grounding Yoga Practices to Relieve Workday Stress

Kathy Bourgeois

Kathy Bourgeois, MSW, RSW, RYT accompanied by Dorado, Accredited Facility DogSeaStar Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Halifax, NS
Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance

Dawn Collins

Dawn Collins, RYT

Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance

As helping professionals, it is our job to support other people at critical and vulnerable moments in their lives. Emotional, time-sensitive work is demanding and it can take its toll on our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits. Creating healing moments in our workspace can mean all the difference in terms of releasing negative energy and growing our own health. In this session, we will practice gentle yoga that will focus on grounding breath and movements. Wear comfortable clothing. Bring an open heart, an open mind, and, if you like, a yoga mat. Towels will be available. No prior yoga experience necessary.

12:15 LUNCH

The Need for Compassion: Self-care in the World of Addiction Medicine

Alana Hirsh

Alana Hirsh, MD, CCFP-EM
Family Physician & Addiction Medicine Advocate

A family and emergency physician, and one of the first doctors to prescribe heroin in Canada, Dr. Alana Hirsh is familiar with the stress of working with complex, traumatized clients. Join her as she discusses her experiences working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – the epicenter of the current opioid epidemic – with one of North America’s poorest, most drug-dependent and mentally ill populations. She will share her attraction to this work, her journey through burnout, and the lessons she learned in recovery. In this talk you will learn the practices she now employs, in particular self-compassion, which can assist us not only to work, but to thrive, in the service of drug using, or any challenging population.

Organizational Health 101

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.
Co-Executive Director, TEND

How do you assess the health and productivity of your teams? What can be done to improve the health of your organization and increase the quality of service to your clients? Dr. Fisher will introduce her model of organizational health and will describe the key steps of an Organizational Health Assessment and the key interventions she most often recommends.

Dealing with the High Conflict Workplace: Tools to manage challenging issues in the workplace

Meaghan Welfare

Meaghan Welfare, BA and TEND Associate

High stress, trauma-exposed work environments can present challenges for organizations dealing with frustrated, overwhelmed and/or depleted staff.  In this workshop, conflict resolution specialist Meaghan Welfare will offer solutions to the most frequently asked questions. This interactive session will allow participants the opportunity to consider how best to address issues of conflict and unrest in their teams.

An Introduction to the Art & Science of Mindfulness & Resilience

David Lovas

David A Lovas, MD, FRCPC

Physician Co-Lead, Emergency Mental Health & Addiction Service, IWK
Program Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency, Dalhousie University

This experiential talk will introduce participants to the science of why mindfulness practices may help build resilience in healthcare professionals and caregivers. It will also provide participants with a taste of how to strengthen, and live from this orientation of mind—i.e. the art of mindfulness.

3:15 BREAK


Investing in YOU – Now What?

Presentation PDF

Françoise Mathieu

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., RP, CCC.
Co-Executive Director, TEND

4:30PM Conference Ends