In the spring of 2018, the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Active Living released Improving Access and Coordination of Mental Health and Addictions Services: A Provincial Strategy for all Manitobans. Arising from those recommendations were 33 initiatives valued at more than $50.8 million to improve mental health and addictions services in Manitoba.
To highlight those initiatives and other projects taking place throughout the province, we are pleased to present the Innovations in Mental Health and Addictions Learning Series. These webinars will provide a platform to promote evidence-based alternatives, overall system collaboration and knowledge sharing.
The information below contains details on the sessions and how to register for the upcoming webinars. Following the completion of each webinar, the video will be posted to this page for those who wish to view the session again or were unable to attend at the scheduled time.
Buffalo Riders Early Intervention Program for First Nations Youth is a five-day VIRTUAL training, designed to strengthen and empower facilitators with culturally relevant knowledge and skills needed to deliver the Buffalo Riders Early Intervention Program in schools and communities. The training reflects the latest research and Indigenous culturally specific teachings about resiliency, risk, and protective factors, that facilitators may use to teach youth the skills needed to recognize and resist social pressures around harmful substances use.
The Buffalo Riders Early Intervention Training for First Nations Youth program aligns with and responds to recommendations in the VIRGO report, Improving Access and Coordination of Mental Health and Addictions Services: A Provincial Strategy for all Manitobans. The partnership with Thunderbird Partnership Foundation to virtually deliver the program is one of a series of initiatives being implemented to better meet the needs of Manitobans struggling with mental health and addiction concerns. Funding to support the Buffalo Riders program is being provided by the Federal and Manitoba provincial governments.
Presenter: Dr. Jessica Ford, Training Coordinator
Date: June 14, 2023
Time: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7690016641538844758
Founded over 35 years ago, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba exists so that all Manitobans affected by dementia receive the help they need today and have hope for the future. Today, the Society has grown to be the leading resource for families living with the disease.
Through its programs and services, the Society strives to enhance the quality of life of those affected by dementia. It helps people no matter where they are in their journey, from the first signs of cognitive changes in themselves or someone else, to getting a diagnosis, to planning for long-term care. The Society is the source of connection to resources and to a community of people who can relate to the joys and challenges of living in the moment while navigating a progressive disease.
By championing dementia-friendly communities, the Society aims to bring dignity, inclusion, respect, and acceptance into the lives of people with dementia and their care partners. Through education and training opportunities, along with recreation programs co-facilitated with community partners, people get the encouragement they need to stay engaged in the places where they live, work and play.
The Society is a lifeline for people at times of transition and struggle. It offers the First Link Client Support program, caregiver and professional education, and support groups for people living with dementia and their care partners. It also funds research and advocates for change within all levels of government, becoming a source of hope for all those affected by dementia.
Jessica Harper, First Link Client Services Manager
In February 2022, the Government of Manitoba launched A Pathway to Metal Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba. This 5-year plan lays out an ambitious transformation vision and plan of action for Manitoba’s mental health, substance use and addiction, chronic disease prevention and health promotion systems. Over the past year, the Department of Mental Health and Community Wellness and our partners across government and the broader system, have made critical investments in services and advanced important policy and structural initiatives to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Manitobans. This presentation will provide a high level review of the roadmap, outline progress made within our first year and priorities for year two in hopes to increase awareness to service providers of the important work underway in Manitoba.
Arle Jones, Executive Director, Systems Planning & Performance and Corporate Services Branches
Department of Mental Health and Community Wellness
Kristin Villanueva, Director Strategic Initiatives and Performance
Department of Mental Health and Community Wellness
Unhealthy alcohol use does not always resemble a substance use disorder. A significant body of evidence suggests a relationship between alcohol consumption and many types of cancer, as well as higher mortality for a broad number of health issues. Even alcohol consumption that does not meet the criteria of addiction is associated with increased risk, indicating reduced consumption is an effective prevention measure. Research over the last decade indicates primary care providers are key to increasing screening, prevention, and early intervention. The Manitoba Shared Health Screening, Brief Intervention, & Referral (SBIR) Tool is a digital tool that screens for alcohol and mental health issues at a point before they are typically recognized. The SBIR Tool is proactive, patient-centered, and evidence-based approach, and the first of its kind to be based on Canada’s updated 2023 Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG).
Daniel Dacombe, Project Initiatives Lead, Mental Health & Addictions, Shared Health
The OCD Centre, a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association, has a new Hoarding Service available for the community of Winnipeg. This presentation will share information about the experience of hoarding, how to effectively support a person who is struggling with hoarding behaviour and will describe the services available from the OCD Centre as well as application process.
Presenter: Sheryl Giesbrecht, Executive Director – OCD Centre Manitoba
Kidthink Children’s Mental Health Centre Inc. (KIDTHINK) is a non-profit children’s mental health centre located in Manitoba that received its charitable status in January of 2019. We are passionate about the prevention and early intervention of mental health and addiction challenges. We operate as a wholistic centre that identifies and enhances the child’s entire support system by focusing on the following:
KIDTHINK takes an evidence-based approach to offer assessments as well as treatment programs and services that are proven to be most effective. The initial focus is on anxiety, depression, behavioural issues, ADHD, and learning difficulties/disabilities.
KIDTHINK’s approach is strength-based, trauma-informed and can include unique, intensive therapy options, when applicable, for those willing and able to dedicate time for an intensive program.
KIDTHINK provides outreach services within the child’s community, primarily focusing on supporting the child in their community, training parents, caregivers, and educators to better identify and interact with children 12 years old and under with mental illnesses. This multidisciplinary-team approach will empower the community with the knowledge to better address each child’s individual needs.
Presenter: Rossana Astacio-Morice, Program Manager
PAX DreamMakers is a youth-led, community-based approach that engages middle and high school students to create peace, productivity, health and happiness in their schools and communities. It applies the evidence-based, trauma-informed strategies of the PAX Good Behaviour Game (PAX GBG) to create a nurturing environment that promotes youth self-regulation and cooperation. As a result, DreamMaker youth learn the skills of Leadership, Empowerment, Agency and Purpose (LEAP) to bring positive change to their communities and themselves. PAX DreamMakers was developed in collaboration with the White Swan DreamMakers on the Yakama Reservation in Washington State, Swampy Cree Tribal Council Communities in Manitoba, the University of Manitoba, PAXIS Institute and formerly collaborated with Healthy Child Manitoba.
In this Learning Series presentation, we will describe the origins of PAX DreamMakers, what happens at DreamMakers Gatherings, and the integration of PAX GBG strategies into DreamMakers Gatherings. Presenters will offer examples of the positive impact of PAX DreamMakers, both on individuals, and their communities.
Riverwood House is a 40-suite Supportive Recovery Housing facility for those in recovery from addictions, facing unstable housing, and desiring a substance free environment. Bringing together fully independent living suites in a communal environment, a human-centred approach empowers each participant to discover, pursue, and own their goals in recovery with the guidance of on-site navigators and connection to external supports, ensuring their support networks are built with resources that will carry with them after transitioning from the program. Utilizing the My Recovery Plan platform, each participant will progress through a phased program that focuses on building their recovery capital allowing them to track their progress towards their personal recovery plan. We will follow a client-centred timeline assessing their readiness as the guiding factor for transitioning into healthy, independent living.
- Steve Neufeld, Director
- Jon Courtney, Project Lead
The POLARIS Healing Centre opened its doors in October 2022 to assist those in need of programs and services in Thompson. Persons who are experiencing housing instability confront many challenges due to the impact of residential schools, substance misuse, mental health challenges, lack of housing opportunities, harsh weather conditions, and issues of racism and discrimination. The Healing Centre is a starting point to assist individuals in need of support and services and to help address the issues that they may be experiencing. POLARIS provides immediate access to a safe space for 24 people and it also provides 45 longer-term dormitory style housing units for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. The Healing Centre Services also provides access to clothing, hygiene products and educational information on COVID. There is also detox and emergency care provided on site.
Partners in the Healing Centre include the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Thompson Homeless Shelter, Northern Regional Health Authority addictions and mental health supports, and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.
- Gisele DeMeulles, Director of Substance Use and Recovery, Northern Regional Health Authority
The Dragonfly Support Program at the Women’s Health Clinic supports people through the experience of pregnancy and infant loss. There is no right or wrong way to feel after a miscarriage, termination, pregnancy loss, or infant loss. People often feel isolated and like they shouldn’t talk about their experience, but it can help to be acknowledged, validated, and understood. Like the dragonfly, when we experience change or grief, a transformation happens. We don’t simply “get over” grief; we build around our grief. We build a bridge between who we were before and after by working through and acknowledging what has happened, building connections and support. This multidisciplinary program offers counselling, group supports, volunteer training, resources and a service provider community of practice.
• Erin Bockstael, Manager of Family and Community Programs, Women’s Health Clinic
• Leigha Phelps, Health Educator, Women’s Health Clinic
The Nest program at Siloam Mission’s Arlene Wilson Recovery Centre is a supportive recovery housing program created in response to limited accessible resources for long-term recovery. In 2021, Siloam Mission embarked on this initiative to address the specific needs of those experiencing homelessness, within the standards of best practice in the mental health and addictions recovery fields. The Nest aims to support individuals who upon completion of an initial addictions treatment program are experiencing housing instability, and are seeking more specialized supports to achieve their long-term recovery goals. By using a holistic approach that recognizes the values and strengths of each individual person, residents are actively involved in their own recovery and planning for the future. With the inclusion of peer programming, participants benefit from the ability to gain emotional and social support from others who have shared some of the same experiences.
• Laiza Pacheco, Director of Programs & Volunteer Services, Siloam Mission
• Lauren Ferguson, Manager of Health Services, Siloam Mission
In the fall of 2020, an inter-agency Renewal Committee, with partners throughout the Manitoba health care system, was formed to lead the redevelopment of a province-wide training curriculum to support clinical excellence in the delivery of services to individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This new Co-occurring Disorders Educational Curriculum (CODEC), has been developed to meet a range of learning needs and is delivered in two tiers. The first tier is aimed at strengthening fundamental knowledge of co-occurring disorders and is designed for a broad audience. The second tier delves deeper into the topic and is aimed at learners with a clinical focus.
In this learning series presentation, we will be discussing the background of this training, the current version and the vision for the future of this training.
• Sheri Lysy-Sigurgeirson, CODEC Project Lead
• Lori Nicholson, Addictions in Mental Health Resource Nurse, Selkirk Mental Health Centre
The first of its kind in Winnipeg, a team of one police officer and one crisis clinician responds to 911 calls that are mental health/ addictions related. The goal is to bring assessment and services to individuals right in their own homes, in a trauma-informed way that promotes crisis stabilization and recovery. With the support of other agencies, ARCC has also led collaborative service planning with individuals who find themselves in crisis frequently. This pilot project runs from December 2021 to December 2022.
• Erika Hunzinger, ARCC Project Coordinator and Manager for Crisis Response Centre & RAAM clinics
• Helen Peters, ARCC Project Coordinator and Mental Health Liaison for Winnipeg Police Service
Eagle Embracing You Healing Lodge is a four-bed treatment facility that incorporates Indigenous healing practices to provide culturally relevant, voluntary, and individualized treatment services for transgendered, 2-spirited, and female identifying youth who are struggling with co-occurring disorders or substance use, and who are at risk of sexual exploitation or are actively sexually exploited. EEY Healing Lodge incorporates western and Indigenous ways of knowing to address the impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma, providing youth with land based healing opportunities that most have never experienced having been confined to an urban environment with limited resources and supports the majority of their lives.
• Nitanis N. Leary, Program Manager, Ata Chiminis Mikisiw “Eagle Embracing You” Healing Lodge
The Huddle Brandon Youth Hub is a safe space for Westman youth ages 12–29, offering free, trauma-informed and culturally safe health services in a youth-friendly atmosphere. Huddle is built off the principles of Integrated Youth Services and seeks to offer effective, youth-focused and integrated services for mental health, substance use, peer and family support, primary care, employment supports, social services, and wellness activities. Services at Huddle Brandon are provided by a group of community organizations, including Westman Youth for Christ, Brandon Friendship Centre, Career and Employment Youth Services (C.E.Y.S. Brandon), Prairie Mountain Health, SERC, and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.
• Shaun Funk, Huddle Director
Trauma-informed counselling works to support individuals through the myriad of challenges they encounter following events and circumstances outside their control. From finding resources to accessing services individuals frequently face barriers and difficulty finding care. Klinic Community Health has developed a single point of entry model to help ease the way for people looking to heal from traumatic experiences.
• Kara Neustaedter, Manager, Counselling Services, Klinic Community Health
ECHO is a well-established information sharing and community building model developed by the University of New Mexico that leverages a virtual platform to connect an expert “hub” panel with care providers across broad physical distances. It provides the opportunity for case-based learning and mentorship using a hub and spoke approach, with the ultimate goal of expanding the capacity of community providers to treat complex medical and mental health concerns in their communities. The pilot ECHO for Mental Health and Addiction in Manitoba has now run three ECHO series on the topics of Eating Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, and Emergency Mental Health and Addiction, providing learning opportunities to care providers throughout the province.
Presenters: Dr. Erin Knight, MD, CCFP(AM), CISAM, Interim Medical Director, AFM Dr. Krystal Thorington, Mental Health ECHO lead
A happy partnership between Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg. Thrival Kits™ are shoebox sized kits that students fill with small, meaningful items as they complete classroom challenges and activities throughout the school year. Activities are focused on mental health promotion; these daily practices protect and promote mental well-being of youth ages 8-12.
Shelby Davidson, Thrival Kits Project Lead
PROJECT 11 is an engaging cross-curricular proactive mental health initiative that is available to classrooms from kindergarten to grade 8 in both English and French. It has been created using SLO’s from Manitoba’s Health Education curriculum and covers general Language Arts outcomes as well. The High School curriculum, with lessons for Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, will be launched in the fall of 2022. This curriculum includes video-based lessons and daily activities which have been designed to help support students and teachers in bringing mental health awareness, along with positive coping skills, into the classroom and into their lives.
Due to a technical issue we were unable to play the videos mentioned in the presentation. The videos mentioned can be found here:
The videos can be found here:
• About Project 11
• Project 11 Summit
• Project 11 Summit Promo Video
• Middle Years Video
• Early Years Video
Blue Thunderbird Family Care is a Winnipeg based organization whose mission is to develop programs and services that empower the Indigenous community to reclaim and practice Indigenous care for children and families. Granny’s House, a program of Blue Thunderbird, is a community-based home in Winnipeg’s core area that provides culturally-relevant support to families by offering temporary out-of-home respite for families. Granny’s House provides a place of safety and love that has been a part of the Indigenous family system of care since the beginning of time. Presenters:
- Dana Arabe, Executive Director, Blue Thunderbird Family Care
- Wanda Sanderson, Program Manager, Blue Thunderbird Family Care
Please note this session has been postponed to a later date. Once a new date has been selected an update will be provided.
The Metis Child, Family and Community Services (MCFCS) and Michif Child and Family Services (MCFS) Community Addictions Response Team (CART) provides support and services to families who are experiencing parental substance use and/or mental health struggles which impact parenting. The goal of CART is to assist families on their healing journey by having a Peer Mentor visit their home regularly to provide relational support and to rapidly connect parents with services while supporting children to safely remain at home with their parent (s). Families who chose to receive services from the CART Program will have rapid access to an AFM counsellor for substance use support, a mental health clinician for ongoing counselling, a peer mentor for weekly in home relational support, a case manager to manage services and a cultural worker for cultural support. Presenters:
- Members of the CART Team
Enhanced School-based Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Supports for youth is a new initiative that focuses on youth grades 6 to 12. Using a High-Fidelity Wraparound approach, the initiative adds psychiatric nurses and addiction support workers to existing school-based clinical teams. The initiative allows for enhanced access to supports before requiring a referral to other community services or a regional health authority program. These additional resources are intended to reduce community clinic wait times for children and youth, strengthen inter-agency co-ordination, and provide parents and families with a voice and choice in the treatment plans for their children.
Presenters: Members of the program team
Peer 2 Peer Connections is a peer support program that provides value-based, formalized peer support to individuals experiencing a mental health or addiction related crisis and their families and natural supports within Manitoba. Intended to augment clinical mental health care, individuals/family members/natural supports can access peer support in specific clinical settings with an option of up to four weeks post-discharge follow-up support and connection to community peer support thereafter. Formalized peer support is built on values of hope and recovery, empathetic and equal relationships, self-determination, dignity, respect and social inclusion, integrity, authenticity and trust, health and wellness, and lifelong learning and personal growth. Peer supporters focus on strengths, not weaknesses, and inspiring hope while working towards individual and/or family well-being and recovery. The presentation includes a look into program design, implementing peer support within a multidisciplinary setting, and developing a formalized and value-based peer support workforce. Presenters:
Julia Hoeppner Director of Operations and Adam Milne, Peer Support Manager, Peer Connections Manitoba
Tamarack Recovery Centre has been successfully operating an accredited residential addictions treatment and recovery program in the West Broadway Community for nearly 50 years. In 2021 we were able to fulfill a long-held dream by opening a transition home for our program graduates two doors away from our treatment centre. “The Branch” provides affordable, supportive recovery housing for up to 10 residents, ranging from a few months to two years post-treatment. Residents participate in education, work or volunteer opportunities along with weekly case management and supports to achieve their long-term recovery goals. In this presentation we will give a brief overview of Tamarack’s treatment model and talk in depth about the innovative program of supportive housing at The Branch.
Presenters: Lisa Cowan, Executive Director and Joanne Riedle, Clinical and Transition Supervisor
The NorWest Youth Hub is an integrated service centre for youth ages 12-29, offering free services in the areas of mental health, substance use, primary healthcare, employment, recreation, and more. Youth Hubs provide low-barrier, youth-friendly, integrated services for young people and their families in a “one-stop-shop” model. The NorWest Youth Hub operates in partnership with internal NorWest staff & teams, as well as with external agencies including the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM), Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC), Rainbow Resource Centre, and more.
The Mobile Withdrawal Management Service (MWMS) is a community-based outreach withdrawal and stabilization service established in 2019 and operated through Klinic Community Health across Winnipeg and the neighbouring community of East St Paul. The program engages people who request support while withdrawing from a substance of concern, as identified by the individual. MWMS is resolutely client-centered and entirely voluntary. The program brings services—both literally and figuratively—to where people are at. MWMS’s staff complement includes health and support workers, nurses, peer support workers, and prescribers. Additionally, there are built-in linkages to Indigenous cultural support, trauma counselling, and primary care. Harm reduction principles, barrier reduction, and non-judgmental engagement are foundational to the program. MWMS is available to clients for up to thirty days, with extensions available. Participants tailor their care journey throughout this time and determine what—if any—next steps are to be undertaken.
Presenters: Kelly Surbey, Program Coordinator; Health and Support Worker, Mobile Withdrawal Management Service, Klinic Community Health Chantelle Partyka, Registered Nurse, Mobile Withdrawal Management Service, Klinic Community Health Andrew Lodge, Physician Lead, Mobile Withdrawal Management Service; Medical Director, Klinic Community Health
Spence Neighbourhood Association and 1JustCity operate community drop-in centres in Winnipeg which provide 24/7 access for community members in need of shelter, food, and a place to belong. Our organizations are proud to offer barrier-free services for people of all ages experiencing poverty, homelessness or precarious housing, with mental health and/or substance use disorders, facing oppression, social isolation, and more. We work together to ensure that vulnerable Winnipeggers in the central parts of the city always have a place to belong. Our presentation will include information about the services offered at SNA and 1JustCity drop-in centres.
Presenters: • Josh Ward, Community Facilitator, 1JustCity • Lin Howes Bann, Spence Neighbourhood Association
The CEDVIP project provides a 24/7 response to Health Sciences Centre Emergency Departments to offer support to youth (ages 14-29) who have presented with an injury caused by violence. Youth are offered trauma-informed, flexible follow up support in community to assist with reduction of their risk and support stability to prevent repeat injury.
Presenters: • Tammy Rowan, Clinical Team Coordinator • Shannon Watson, Lead – Complex Community Service Integration
The Newcomer Trauma-Focused Service is a program designed to provide mental health support to ethno-cultural and racialized populations (refugees and immigrants) who have had experiences of moderate-to-severe trauma. Program participants are provided with opportunities for long-term therapy, psychological and psychiatric services, case management and connections to the formal mental health system. This collaborative model utilizes partnerships with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Family Dynamics and various ethno-cultural and faith communities to provide holistic, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate supports to newcomer individuals, families and communities regardless of their immigration status or time in Manitoba. Our presentation will also include information on the other programs and services offered by Aurora Family Therapy Centre.
Presenter: • Heather C. Robertson, Director of Mental Health Services, Aurora Family Therapy Centre
In the summer of 2018, Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics were established by the Province of Manitoba to improve access to addiction medicine. In review, the clinics have been resounding success, but challenges remain. The RAAM service delivery model is designed to provide patient-centred, short-term, low barrier access to evidence-based addiction medicine care through walk-in clinics. Once the patient is stabilized, they are linked with community resources for longer term care. The creation of six RAAM clinics is a unique collaboration between the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Shared Health and regional health authorities (Southern Health-Santé Sud, Prairie Mountain Health, Interlake-Eastern, Northern).The initiative has elevated the profile of addiction medicine within health care and other service sectors. The presentation includes an in-depth look into the RAAM model including its successes and struggles.
Presenters: • Dr. Ginette Poulin, RAAM Hub medical co-lead • Brent Anderson, RAAM Hub Provincial Coordinator