Wood's Homes Blog

A balancing act

July 03, 2020

When I completed my undergraduate degree, I was excited to see what the world had to offer and passionate about my love for psychology. I knew that getting right into a master’s program would be a difficult task to do while working full-time, but I was determined to push myself and not waste any time. I began my journey in a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program and was lucky enough to be hired as a Family Support Counsellor with Wood’s Homes Family Support Network.

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Looking for silver linings on cloudy days: Could there be an upside to all this social distancing?

June 11, 2020

It’s been 12 weeks since I stepped inside my makeshift home office. I’m keeping a calendar and marking it with X’s, and maybe you have been too. I’ve limited my social media exposure because honestly, it was hard enough to manage the reality of what is going on in the world without having to also manage conspiracy theories and the vitriol of what I can only describe as (in)human selfishness taken to the extreme. For some reason, I kept thinking of Dicken’s famous opening, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  And indeed, if we look closely for the good in this, I think we might find some (granted, we might have to look really hard).

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Youth homelessness and family support during COVID-19

June 04, 2020

Wood’s Homes Lethbridge Emergency Youth Shelter (now known as THE CORE) first opened its doors in 2003, as a place to support young people who needed a safe place to stay and support with basic needs. Youth come to the shelter for various reasons, with the biggest being family conflict, which often results from past trauma, mental health, sexual orientation or gender identity, or substance use, among other things. Wood’s Homes’ Youth and Family Counsellors work with youth and their families to provide mediation and access to resources in an effort to help youth return to the family home with a more stable relationship.

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Lessons learned with the support of Acute@Home

May 28, 2020

An Acute@Home (formerly Emergency Room Outreach) family was asked to reflect on their personal experience with mental health and share their recommendations for families beginning their mental health journeys while navigating available supports. To protect the privacy of the client, the pseudo-name Becky is used below.

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Online fatigue during COVID-19

May 21, 2020

After a day of sessions on WebEx with the students from Wood's Homes' William Taylor Learning Centre (WTLC), and then a call to my son’s teachers to try and work out why he was struggling with his online school platform, I sat down and wondered why I was feeling so tired. Surely this feeling isn’t normal? After all, a pre-COVID-19 day at WTLC required a much more intense level of engagement and usually a lot more paperwork, so why was I feeling so tired?

I’ve read many articles recently about various facets of COVID-19 and mental health issues, so a further search began. I have to say, I felt an enormous sense of relief when I found information on a new buzzword: Zoom Fatigue.

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I am more than my FASD

May 14, 2020

The following is a testimonial written by a volunteer at Wood’s Homes FASD Program. This volunteer shares personal stories, and experience on volunteering in a virtual setting.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve never fit so perfectly well with something before. It honestly feels as though Woods Homes and its FASD community in particular has my back even though I haven’t been a part of it for very long. It’s been less than three months. I’m finally with people (of all ages) who have the same condition as me, so I’m no longer like a square peg in a round hole... not that I really minded being ‘different’ that much. Admittedly, my ego most likely enjoyed being different because it meant being “special.” There are times when being different doesn’t feel good.

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Connecting with our children: Virtual games and activities to play during COVID-19

May 06, 2020

Many of our 'normal' day-to-day activities and social interactions have come to a halt as we practise social distancing at home. We're no longer able to go to the gym, enjoy a coffee with friends or visit with family, and our children are no longer able to play with their friends or attend school. 

For some of us, this new reality might present as a welcome reprieve from the hectic pace of day-to-day life, but for the younger ones in our lives, this can be a time filled with anxiety and boredom.

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Wood’s Homes Heroes: Sobeys Inc. and their Team

April 29, 2020

This week, we send a special “thank you” to Sobeys Inc.! Sobeys Inc. is a generous donor to the Youth in Culinary Arts Program (YCAP), which provides hands-on culinary training to vulnerable and at-risk youth in Calgary. There are many different scenarios that bring a young person to Wood’s Homes for help. Young people who join YCAP often face multiple barriers and lack employability skills due to mental health issues, trauma and a multitude of other challenges. In 2019, because of the support of donors like Sobeys Inc., YCAP was able to help 56 young men and women develop life skills, discover their talents, and build a network of support.

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Social Impact Lab | April 29, 2020

April 27, 2020

As manager of Wood’s Homes Community Resource Team, I often engage with other mental health professionals in the non-profit sector. We work collaboratively to provide much needed mental health services, and support the well-being of families and individuals in our city. It’s an aspect of my job that I really enjoy.

Of course, in our pre-COVID-19 world, this meant shaking hands, face-to-face interactions with parents, students and professionals from other agencies. It also meant working in an array of settings – schools, community events, resource fairs – to present on topics relating to mental health that I am passionate about as a clinician.

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My volunteer journey at Wood’s Homes

April 24, 2020

I first heard about Wood’s Homes six years ago. My initial knowledge of Wood’s Homes came from a more personal level. A family member had a mental health crisis and needed immediate help. We walked into Eastside Family Centre and that was the beginning of my journey at Wood’s Homes.

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