Wood's Homes Blog

We need others to help us see what we don’t see

April 30, 2021

In her TedXWomen’s talk ‘A Realistic Vision for World Peace’, Jody Williams reframes the concept of peace as human security – sustainable, with justice, equity and “freedom from fear”. And in order to achieve peace, we must take action. For rarely is there “hope without endeavour” or “hope of change, unless we take action to make it so”.

I found her vision of peace reminiscent of our vision at Wood’s Homes: A world that values and nurtures the mental health of all people and when needed, ensures quality, timely help for all. I’ve observed that all of us instinctively want to "reclaim the meaning of peace" and carry a vision of a more sustainable and more equitable world, and know that we must work to make our vision a reality.

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When your well is empty: Empathy in the time of COVID-19

April 12, 2021

COVID-19 has impacted all people and every aspect of life. One of the significant impacts has been for people who have huge hearts, or deep wells of empathy. For many of us, we have felt that well running dry. People are having to dig a little deeper into their reserves in order to choose kindness. So what do you do when you find yourself quicker to be irritated, faster to fall into frustration, just generally annoyed more frequently than typical?

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Stepping forward to help: Staff experiences from Wood's Homes Pandemic Team

March 11, 2021

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. Faced with this challenge, senior leadership put out a call to all staff, looking for ‘trailblazers.’ These would be frontline workers who were prepared to join Wood’s Homes Pandemic Team – a team of employees who were able to commit to working (up to one month) in a program where there was a positive COVID-19 case.

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How I coped with being pregnant during the pandemic

March 03, 2021

I found out I was pregnant on July 27, 2020.

My husband, Dylan, and I had never been so excited – after 11 years together, we were finally taking the next step in our journey as a couple and becoming parents. At that time, it appeared as though the global COVID-19 pandemic was slowing down – active case numbers were low, provincial restrictions were lifted and life was pretty much the same as it was before the pandemic (aside from the face masks, of course). Yes, we knew that COVID-19 was still here and could potentially be around for many months to come; however, many of the fears and anxieties we had in the spring were slowly disappearing as we saw case numbers decline.

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The last people standing

February 24, 2021

If you remember the last entry in this series, I spoke about how using a substance is a negative maladaptive strategy to cope with trauma.  

Now that we’re in our second lockdown, many of us may be thinking about some of the things we’ve given up over the past year – hugging friends and family members, meeting a child born during the lockdown or celebrating the life of a loved one who passed away – and for some, it may be a long list.

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Invincibility is not a trait that belongs solely to adolescents

February 10, 2021

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.

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No one has time for Blue Monday

January 18, 2021

No one has time for Blue Monday. We don’t even know what day it is anymore.

Several years ago I wrote a blog debunking the myth of Blue Monday, but this year I could not help but think about how little importance specific days have become in the wake of COVID-19.  COVID birthdays and other special events have all taken on new (or less) meaning because they can’t be celebrated in the same way. I recently wrote a celebratory note to a friend who had achieved an important milestone, realizing “wish we could celebrate in person” could not be made more palatable by suggesting that we will somehow do it in the future. There is only so much you can put off before there is a sense of not wanting to bother.

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Shadows cannot exist without light

December 15, 2020

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.

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To me, you are perfect

December 07, 2020

It was Oct. 4, 1996. I was four days overdue and after being sent for a routine ultrasound, they found massive fluid in my baby's brain. Everyone and everything went into panic mode. I had no idea at the time that this was to be the death of my pre-conceived notion of what our lives would be like and the beginning of a journey most can never even imagine. She came into the world in the early hours of Oct. 17, code blue (not breathing).

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Bullying in the workplace

November 17, 2020

Bullying is a workplace issue.

When you were growing up, did you ever imagine this would be a reality? Statistics on bullying range from 19% to 60% of people having experienced this behaviour at work. It’s easy to recognize the blatant bullying – the yelling, nasty comments and jokes at someone’s expense. But what we sometimes don’t recognize as bullying are the callous remarks in meetings, rolled eyes, gossiping and spreading of rumours. Remember – the majority of your communication is not what you are saying, but how you are saying it.

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