Wood's Homes Blog
Having an empathetic heart can be both a blessing and a curse in this line of work. The blessings come with the passion that brings you back to work, even after hard days. Hard days can come in the form of kids keeping you at bay as their own hearts are too sore to let you in. Ultimately, the good typically outweighs the curses and you keep striving forward, even during the really hard times.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, social service organizations – such as Wood’s Homes – have been challenged to keep pace with ever-evolving public health policy and protocols, while also maintaining focus on the effective delivery of our mental health services. Over the last year, Wood’s Homes has been shoulder-to-shoulder with other children’s mental health congregate care programs and has been faced with positive COVID-19 cases in our live-in programs.
While we all deal with challenges that may affect our ability to keep up healthy habits or avoid stress, the big question is: What happens to those living within the most vulnerable sectors when you add even more barriers to safety? When you’re already on the cusp of an inability to cope with your trauma, you may turn to negative maladaptive coping strategies and the use of substances to help to numb your pain.
To say I was blasé about the risks associated with COVID-19 is an overstatement; however, I can also say that I was not as rigorous about following the protocols as I could have been. It is for this reason that I’m sharing my personal experience with COVID.
During a time when COVID (and all things related to COVID) seems to dominate our news feeds, it sometimes feels like a challenge to also have to deal with the uncertainties and often tumultuous world of raising adolescents
When we think about raising children, running organizations and taking care of ourselves, the things we turn to right away involve structure, routine and goal setting – all things that require a schedule and usually a calendar. So, what does it mean for our mental health when every day seems the same and hope for change is still a long way off on the horizon?
“What’s the typical mental health and behaviour of a teenager?” is a question I often hear in my role as a Family Support Counsellor with Community Psychiatric Unit. Understanding when behavior deviates outside of a ‘normal’ range becomes a hot topic when parents are trying to better support their children after leaving the program. This question seems to be all the more complex and has a notable sense of urgency when Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a primary diagnosis.
2020 has been a year of “darkness” for many. Times of “light” – creating space for joy, peace, friendship, freedom and the sweetness of life has never been more urgent in history. The convergence of movements like Black Lives Matter, climate activism, the #MeToo movement, and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation amidst global waves of COVID-19 are a stark reminder of the need to prioritize one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Thanksgiving 2020 feels different this year – for all of us. COVID-19 has moved us to think about life in different ways and to count our blessings just a little more. What tops our ‘Be Thankful’ list here at Wood’s Homes is the joy we get working with children, youth and families, the support we receive from our loyal and generous community, and our ability to continue the work of our founder, Reverend George Wood.
Orange Shirt Day was inspired by residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad, who shared her story at a St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion event held in Williams Lake, B.C., in the spring of 2013. Phyllis recounted her first day of residential schooling at the age of six, when her new orange shirt—given to her by her grandmother—was taken away from her.
With most children returning to school this week, parents are being tasked with yet another challenge in this ‘new normal’ world – how to prepare their children for mask wearing at school. Here are some quick tips and things to keep in mind when helping your child navigate some of the challenges they will face.
Becky, a 13-year-old female, had been to the hospital a couple times before engaging with Wood’s Homes’ A@H Program. She shared that she felt she’d made a mistake the first time she arrived at the hospital, as she did not tell the truth and kept important information from the professionals working with her – and that it took her some time before she realized that the professionals were not there to judge her.