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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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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The community comes through for EXIT Youth Hub clients in need

April 02, 2020

In July 2018, Wood’s Homes Street Services moved into their new location at our Inglewood Campus, bringing programs that used to operate in different locations together to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ now known as the EXIT Youth Hub. Here, street-involved youth are provided access to basic needs, as well as mental health counselling, employment and housing supports, medical attention and connections all sorts of resources that can assist them in their drive for a brighter future.

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Monsters are real

February 19, 2020

‘Monsters’ are real for most of the families and youth in our care. Their monsters are with them in the night – and sometimes, even in the day – hiding in the shadows, under their beds and in their dreams.

The youth and families who access our programs are all looking for something similar – safety from their monsters. It’s a simple feeling that many families struggle to achieve, sometimes for generations. Through the addictions program, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with many youth and families who are unsure about what they’re actually seeking from me. In the end, it almost always comes down to safety – more specifically, safety while using (harm reduction), safety in conversations and safety in sobriety.

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Mending broken hearts

November 28, 2019

Why is it so easy for we, as human beings, to talk about a broken arm and so difficult to talk about a broken heart?

Many of us who have been in the business of caring for and helping children and their families for years would say we have come a long way with understanding and accepting our ‘mental or emotional health’, while many others would say we still have a long way to go.

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Worry Boxes

October 21, 2019

It started out as an idea; a way to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety felt by the clients we serve who struggle with addictions. For a number of reasons, there are times when our EXIT Youth Hub clients aren’t heard from for long periods. Some find other supports. Some leave the city. Some, unfortunately, fall on hard times and can no longer make their way to us. Whatever the reason, as Wood’s Homes’ Addictions Specialist, I wanted to do something to help the clients who return to EXIT after they’ve taken time away from our services. 

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The Way We Choose Our Words

October 15, 2019

Sometimes we are guilty of underestimating the power of language, and the way we choose our words. In my work as an Indigenous liaison at Wood’s Homes, I am very deliberate in the use of my words and I believe it’s something all of us need to be reminded of.

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What is Pride?

August 30, 2019

When we think of pride, we sometimes think of a pride of lions. Did you know what a pride of lions represents? A pride of lions is a symbol of a family structure. A good example of what a pride represents is seen when we look at the community that lions build in support of each other. That community is in pursuit of a common goal: The Pride! And it teaches us about balance and how all living things together represent balance in life.

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