ALberta Health Services: Trauma Informed Care

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project


Many of the people we interact with every day have been affected by overwhelming stress or traumatic experiences. Traumatic experiences change a person and can create turmoil within a person and in their life. This is especially true if events and/or conditions happen in childhood.

The consequences of trauma are far reaching and can be directly or indirectly linked to mental illness, addictions, chronic disease, suicide, and overall, a failure to thrive.

The purpose of the Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Project is to increase knowledge about trauma and the impact it has by creating connection, sharing knowledge and resources. TIC offers resources for individuals who help those impacted by trauma provide patient centred care.

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International FASD Awareness Day


Around the world, the month of September has been identified as FASD month – the ninth month of the year to raise awareness about FASD and the importance of alcohol free pregnancy. Typically, events are centred around the 9th day of the 9th month. There is no known safe amount of alcohol which can be consumed during pregnancy and no alcohol is the safest choice.

FASD Awareness Day began in 1999, initiated by Bonnie Buxton, Brain Philcox and Teresa Kellerman. The first FASD Awareness Day attracted interest worldwide including; New Zealand, followed by South Australia, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Sweden, United States of America and Canada.

Community events to mark FASD Awareness Day now take place around the world providing opportunities for communities to raise awareness about FASD, to pause, to reflect and consider the benefits of an alcohol free pregnancy and to share this prevention message across the world.

Each year increasing numbers of agencies around the world acknowledge FASD Day to highlight concerns about alcohol exposed pregnancies, to raise awareness of FASD and to underline that alcohol in pregnancy is a whole of community concern and not solely a women’s issue.

There are lots of ideas for community events to mark FASD Awareness Day. These include:

  • FASD awareness campaign
  • Pregnant Pause event
  • BreakFASD
  • Walk-along
  • Ring some bells
  • Proclamation signed by an official person
  • Show a video or make a presentation
  • Start a FASD support group

We would love to hear what your community is planning this year!

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Possible treatment for fetal alcohol damage after birth

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

best-vancouver-naturopathTwo commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The scientists also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms the developing fetus.

“We’ve shown you can interfere after the damage from alcohol is done. That’s huge,” said lead investigator and senior author Eva Redei. “We have identified a potential treatment for alcohol spectrum disorder. Currently, there is none.”

Redei is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the David Lawrence Stein Research Professor of Psychiatric Diseases Affecting Children and Adolescents.

The Northwestern study was in rat pups, and the scientists are trying to raise funds for a clinical trial.

In the United States, 1 to 5 percent of children…

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Employment Opportunity: Metis Nation of Alberta



Métis Resource Worker

The Provincial Office of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is recruiting for a Métis Resource Worker. The successful candidate will provide culturally sensitive assistance to Métis children and families involved with the child intervention system, have knowledge of supporting people with complex issues, and act as a navigator and liaison to support the socio-economic needs of our citizens in general.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

The successful candidate must be committed to working collaboratively while supporting the needs of the child and family by building trust and rapport with families; assume joint responsibility and ensure that the Ministry of Human Services and the MNA work toward the best interest of the child and family including possibly connecting Métis children with suitable family members. Finally, the successful candidate will provide Métis cultural presentations as required to Human Service staff, families and community organizations as required. In addition, this individual will act as an advocate and navigate socio-economic systems including health, social services, education and housing. This individual requires a positive and enthusiastic demeanor and exemplify extraordinary interpersonal skills.

Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

 Knowledge and an understanding of Métis culture, people and values is an asset

 Strong oral, presentation and written communication skills

 Working knowledge of the Child and Youth Enhancement Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Protection of Personal Information Act; AISH Legislation, EI guidelines, CPP guidelines

 Valid driver’s license and ability to travel

 Available to work weekends and evenings as required

Educational Requirements:

 Degree/Diploma in Social Services or related field


 Two (2) years’ experience working in the Social Services

Submit your resume to Métis Nation of Alberta #100, 11738 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 0X5 E-mail:

The Métis Nation of Alberta thanks all applicants for their interest; however only those applicants selected for interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Self Care Isn’t Enough When You Parent Complex Kids

Mani-pedis won’t fill the void entirely.


By: Alethea Mshar, Contributor

I’m getting a mani-pedi today. If there’s a poster for self-care a mani-pedi would be on it. It’s relaxing, makes you look better, and it’s a couple hours away from the grind. The bonus is that I have a couple of gift cards to offset the cost so it’s not even a ding on the budget.

As spring arrives I will take pleasure in my beautified bare toes and most certainly ruin my mani by the end of the day, but that’s not the point. The point is the break, the focus on myself. A much needed boost to my spirit.

But is it ever enough?

I believe in self-care, truly I do, but (you know what they say about “but,” ignore everything before it) it’s like offering a candy bar to someone suffering from malnourishment. It will taste great and give a momentary pause to the pangs that rumble nonstop, but it will do nothing to correct the underlying void. A malnourished person needs not a treat, not a single meal, but access to long-term sustenance.

And the full-time parent of complex kids doesn’t need a mani-pedi. It’s a candy bar that will only quiet the pangs momentarily.

What is needed, truly needed, by parents, especially the primary parent of complex kids, is much wider and deeper than a few hours of self care can begin to address. When you consider that moms of autistic kids have stress levels akin to that of combat soldiers it becomes apparent that a brief outing isn’t even beginning to address the issue. It’s a bandage on a hemorrhage.

What is necessary is wraparound services. Respite, extended school years and more.

We recently found out that Ben was approved for the Children’s Waiver Program. This program will provide for him all the benefits of Medicaid, despite our income being over the threshold, as well as respite, Community Living Services (someone to help Ben learn how to do things that most people take for granted, like tolerate an outing to the grocery store.) When getting the news of approval I felt like a someone took me by the hand, showed me a farm with a garden full of bounty and a barn full of animals that, if well cared for could nourish our whole family indefinitely.I’ve been told that the church or private charities should step in. Idealistically I agree wholeheartedly, but I have yet to find a church or charity that is equipped and capable of stepping into the enormous gaps that families like ours have year after year.

I’ve been told that the church or private charities should step in. Idealistically I agree wholeheartedly, but I have yet to find a church or charity that is equipped and capable of stepping into the enormous gaps that families like ours have year after year.

It takes interventions like the Children’s Waiver Program to make a difference in the lives of families like ours, there’s really no substitute.

I’ll go get my mani-pedi today, and it will be a treat, but it won’t satisfy. It won’t fill the void and I’ve learned not to expect it to be enough. I’m beyond grateful to anticipate finally having the resources we need, but at the same time, I look at so many other families I know, moms who live as combat soldiers who need it just as much as we do.

We need to do better, and provide these families with services they need to thrive.

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What to do in Edmonton this weekend (With Kids) July 14-16


Here’s what to do in Edmonton this Weekend:

Street Performer’s Festival | All Weekend
Use sunscreen, wear hats, sunglasses and comfortable footwear. Please supervise your children at all times. Please turn off your phone during performances. Videotaping performances is not permitted. If you’re coming with a group, ensure all children or others requiring supervision are easily recognizable – matching hats, shirts or wristbands work wonderfully. Daycares, Camp Groups, and parents, take this opportunity to teach children how it works at our festival – load ’em up with loonies and twoonies!

Catch me Outside Family Fun Event | Sunday, 12-3
Get outside for an afternoon of fun outdoors with GAME, MUSIC, CHALLENGES, AND MORE! Admission is free, but make sure to grab a free ticket to ensure that planning can take place for the families coming to the outdoor event!

$2.99 Family Favourites Screening | Saturday, 11 am
Every weekend, there are $2.99 movies perfect for the entire family. This weekend, you can catch a screening of ‘The Wild Life’ a hilarious take on animal wildlife, that will have the kids entertained, before you head outside to spend the weekend in the sun.

Arctic Sea Ice Day | Sunday, 12-4
Did you know that the Edmonton Valley Zoo is an ambassador for Polar Bears International? Together, we are fighting against climate change, helping to keep our arctic friends from losing their homes! Arctic crafts, science experiments, and other activities are sure to keep you busy. Learn how you, too, can be an ambassador for saving our Arctic Sea Ice!

Breakfast – on the Cheap
Free Pancake Brunch | Saturday, 11-2
Heather Sweet is hosting a free and family-friendly pancake and sausage brunch in the parking lot of the Edmonton-Manning constituency office. We will also be serving fresh fruit from Miller Crossing Farmers’ Market and coffee from Tim Hortons! There will be games for children, a bubble machine, a colouring station and sidewalk chalk and glitter tattoos (12 pm to 2 pm). Edmonton Police Services and Edmonton Fire will also be bring vehicles for everyone to check out!

Free K-Days Kick off Breakfast | Sunday, 8:30
Any plans for this Sunday? Come join us for our FREE annual K-Days Pancake Breakfast at the Old Timers Cabin hosted by Northern Alberta Pioneers & Descendants Association. Bring along family and friends and enjoy pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausages in our newly renovated cabin.

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Health Minister announces funds for Indigenous mental health, addiction programs


Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, brought words of reconciliation and financial support for mental health and addictions programs for Indigenous people in communities along the North Shore Thursday morning.

At the Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services annual general meeting at the Sault’s Delta Hotel, Hoskins announced $2 million over three years for the Pain, Addiction, Mental Health within an Anishnawbek Recovery System program.

The funding will be administered by Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services.

“This will provide culturally safe and appropriate mental health counselling and treatment services closer to home…this funding will provide access to nearly 16,000 people living in First Nations communities across Lake Huron’s North Shore as well as the urban Indigenous population here in Sault Ste. Marie,” Hoskins said.

The funding will go toward a program known as Beauty for Ashes, delivered over an intensive, five-day period in comfortable residential settings in Garden River and Blind River to adults in order to address the effects of domestic violence and childhood trauma.

It will also go to a mobile clinical support service which will travel directly to Indigenous communities to provide substance abuse treatment.

“People will be able to stay in their communities to access care instead of having to travel to Sault Ste. Marie, or sometimes to Toronto,” Hoskins said.

The Minister said the government will continue to work to provide clean drinking water and appropriate housing in Indigenous communities.

“Today’s announcement is one small step but an important step.  Governments have a lot of work to do to prove our commitment to you and gain your trust and respect,” Hoskins said to a large audience gathered in a Delta Hotel reception room.

Later, to a smaller group gathered in a meeting room, Hoskins said “I’m impressed with this (Beauty for Ashes) program.”

The program has had positive results in Alaska, Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services officials told Hoskins.

“It’s five days and more than counselling.  It’s being able to tell really deep stories they’ve never told anyone about, childhood experiences,” said Gloria Daybutch, Serpent River-based Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services executive director.

That comes with eight weeks of follow up treatment, Daybutch said, with those being healed trained to help others.

As far as substance abuse recovery is concerned, a drug known as suboxone will be used instead of methadone.

Hoskins agreed it is imperative to treat substance abuse as a chronic disease, not addiction, complimenting Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services as being “ahead of the curve” in their approach.

The funding announced by Hoskins Thursday stems from Ontario’s First Nations Health Action Plan, which will spend $222 million over three years and $104.5 million thereafter to provide Indigenous people with access to culturally appropriate care.

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