Conference Agenda

October 12th, 2016  (Wednesday) Meet & Greet
6:00 PM Registration opens Louis Riel Dining Room
7.00 PM Welcoming

Louis Riel

Dining Room

7: 15 PM- 7:30 PM Victoria Maxwell Opening Remarks

Louis Riel

Dining Room

9:00 Closing
October 13th, 2016 (Thursday)
8:00 am Registration/Coffee/muffins Louis Riel Dining Room
8:45 am-10:15 am

Keynote:  Speaker Victoria Maxwell –

Title: That’s Just Crazy Talk

Harvest Hall Dining Room
10: 30 am-12:00 noon

Session 1 –

1(a) Diversion Court – Community Transition of Indigenous Offenders Forensic Psychiatrist & Director of Forensics Services – HSC Director of Crisis & Forensic Services (Dr. Jeffery Waldman,  Ken MacKenzie)


There is significant evidence of a large overrepresentation of certain populations within the criminal justice system in Manitoba.  One of these populations is those individuals who suffer from mental illness and who have become involved with the criminal justice system as a result of suffering from a health related condition.  This is known as “the criminalization of mental illness.” It is clear that one of the most effective ways to begin turning around this phenomena of criminalizing the mentally ill and other marginalized populations is through the use of alternative methods of jurisprudence.  One of these methods is the creation of diversionary structures through collaboration between criminal justice, health and other supportive systems.


Diversion when employed with the mentally ill accused person creates alternatives to criminal sanctions for people with mental illness that have come into contact with the law. The objective of diversion is to secure appropriate mental health services without invoking the usual criminal justice control of trial and/or incarceration. Treating the mental disorder, or getting to the root cause of criminal behavior , reduces the likelihood of further offending and the focus is on helping individuals to access community support, treatment and sustained recovery from illness.  This talk will provide information on the principles of diversion and the likely outcomes which can occur when using diversion as a framework in dealing with marginalized populations that are overrepresented within the criminal justice system and other social control agents.  To accomplish this, the still evolving Winnipeg Mental Health Court will be used to show how diversionary mechanisms within the health and criminal justice can be used to turn around some of the negative impacts of the way in which deinstitutionalization has occurred both in the past and presently.


1(b) Community Transition of Indigenous Offenders –  WRHA

(Dr. Jeffery Waldman,  Ken MacKenzie & Kirsty Randell RN )

Canada’s Indigenous peoples have been subjected to community displacement; an ongoing disconnection from their lands through colonial treaty and reserve based settlements, and; culturally through programs which aimed to eliminate Indigenous cultures such as the Indian Residential Schools.  These circumstances have contributed to significant over-representation of Indigenous peoples involved with the Criminal Justice System.  Federal Indigenous inmates and Indigenous accused persons who are found Not Criminally Responsible are subjected to risk assessment tools that are used to rationalize need for ongoing detention.  These significant decisions are being made despite a lack of evidence that these risk assessment tools are effective at predicting or mitigating risk in Indigenous populations.

A recent Federal court decision against Correctional Services of Canada indicated that the use of certain risk assessments tools lacked validity within the Indigenous population and required Correctional Services of Canada to eliminate the use of these tools in its determination of ongoing detention of Indigenous inmates.  The unique circumstances of Aboriginals in Canada, and the imposition of western based Corrections policy make it necessary to pursue innovative methods of determining processes to facilitate the safe transition of Indigenous offenders back into the community.

Forensic Services is mandated to provide information/evidence to the Criminal Code Review Board of Manitoba which ideally assists this body to make decisions regarding the restrictions imposed on an accused person found Not Criminally Responsible or Unfit to stand trial.

It is the intention of Forensic Services to work with Indigenous Communities using the Keewichiwagan Framework to develop strategies that can be demonstrated to transition Indigenous persons to their communities.  This approach will employ participatory action research, quantitative, qualitative and critical research methodologies in establishing a culturally relevant approach towards healing and self-determination for Indigenous communities, families and individuals impacted by these decision making tools.


Session 2 –  (3 presentations)

2(a) Human Rights or Human Wrongs? Conceptualizing Mental and Emotional Distress as a Social Justice Issue – University of Winnipeg (Dr. Heidi Remki Ph.D)

This presentation seeks to outline the ways in which mental and emotional health and distress are best understood as social in/justice issues directly related to the manner in which social relations of power are structured in Canadian society. The presentation provides a critical sociological theoretical and ethical framework to study and understand the social structural bases of mental and emotional experiences and struggles in our communities.

2(b) Mental Health and exploitation in rural, remote and isolated areas– Brandon University (Katherine Pachkowski R.P.N., B.Sc.P.N., M.Sc. )

The exploitation of persons with mental illness is surprisingly under-represented in literature. Experience working with persons with mental illness in rural, remote and isolated areas reveals that they are frequently subject to exploitation in many forms (e.g. financial, sexual, sex and drug trafficking). This presentation will outline these issues, as well as the preliminary results from an exploratory, phenomenological study eliciting the knowledge of key informants about these issues.

2(c) Madness and Miscommunication in Harry Somer’s Louis Riel – Brandon University (Colette Simonot B. Mus.,  M.A.,  Ph. D.)

Historians have crafted the story of Louis Riel in a variety of ways: he is described as a patriot, traitor, murderer, martyr, madman, and mystic. Although musical works that focus on Riel usually represent him as a patriotic hero, Harry Somers’ 1967 opera is an exception. According to Renihan (2011), Somers’ juxtaposition of Riel’s Métis identity with operatic conventions creates sites of tension that convey both convergence and conflict between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal voices in the opera. This presentation uses the operatic device of the mad scene to portray Riel’s complex identity.


Session 3 – (3 presentations)

3 (a) Emerging Nurse Leaders – Learning About, With and From Emerging Psychiatric Nurses – Winnipeg Health Region (Tracy Thiele & Bonita Fanzega)

Future nurse leaders require development and mentoring to build strong leadership skills to support healthy organizations and to foster positive work environments (Sherman & Pross, 2010).  Passion for the profession, self-confidence, vision, building relationships, and knowledge are some of the key attributes desirable among nurse leaders to be increasingly effective in producing the desired outcomes. Having the opportunity to work as a leader and develop these qualities is not always easily accomplished.  The unique opportunity to learn about, with and from emerging psychiatric nurses is a new way to explore meeting the desired traits of leaders and results in laying a strong foundation for emerging psychiatric nurses.

3 (b) Creating safety: Client centered care or unit centered care-Winnipeg Health Authority (Annette McDougall/Bonita Fanzega/Isabelle Jarrin)

Acute mental health units strive for ways to create safe environments to facilitate patient’s recovery. Seclusion and restraint have been recognized as unsafe practices for both patients and staff and there is nearly universal acceptance that reducing these practices must occur in mental health.

The Six Core Strategies initiative aims to work proactively with the individual client to increase the staff’s understanding of the individual’s specific needs of and how the treatment team can best work with the client to facilitate recovery. This approach requires acceptance of behaviours that may previously have resulted in seclusion or restraint episodes. Instead, the aim is to continue to dialogue with the patient, using principles of trauma informed care, to help identify potential triggers and interventions that can assist the client to remain in control and continue to be an active participate in their recovery.

3 (c) Relationship and Collaborative: Game Changers for the WRHA Adult Mental Health program – Winnipeg RHA and Health Science Centre (Debbie Frechette/Greg Reid)

With the consistent and ever increasing pressure on hospital beds and the every growing need for safe and affordable housing options, collaboration across the healthcare system is more crucial than ever. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority via its program management organizational model has continued to work toward integration of its adult mental health program across acute care and community for more than 10 years. Over that time span, a strategic change management approach has allowed for gradual system change which continues to evolve and develop. This change has been the result of significant effort by key leaders in the program to ensure improved communication, shared decision making and integrated policy, all in effort to improve the system, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for individuals requiring the treatment and services provided by the WRHA Adult Mental Health Program.


Session 4 – (1 presentation)

Creating Dementia Friendly Community and Compassion Fatigue May Family Caregivers be at Risk?– Alzheimer Society of Manitoba (Norma Kirkby)

Currently more than 22,000 Manitobans have dementia and this number is expected to exceed 40,000 within one generation.  It is also known that 43% of Manitobans report having a family member or close personal friend with dementia. Are communities ready to include people with dementia and their care partners in the life of the community? Have plans been made that will assist people with dementia to live safely and contribute? Do businesses and agencies understand the needs of this growing demographic and have they adjusted their service model so that the needs of people with cognitive change and those who support them are met? This session will consider action steps that communities can take to become more dementia friendly.

12:15pm 12:50 pm Lunch/ Networking Break/ Poster Viewing Down Under McMaster Hall
1:00-2:00 pm

Session 5 – (2 presentations)

5(a) The Lived Experience of Spousal Transition within Dementia and Relocation to Long Term Care – Foster Common Unity Counselling Services- Brandon University (Terri Miller, MPN Candidate )

This presentation will help to gain understanding of the transition experience of older couples when one of the partners has been diagnosed with dementia, the couple can no longer continue their life together in their own home, and the partner with dementia has relocated to long term care.  Results from a study with interviewed spousal caregivers describe the experiences of their partners’ relocation to long term care.  In the later stages of dementia, the perspective of the spousal caregiver is essential for understanding the related transitions.  The caregivers were asked to share their experience, their perspective of their partners experience and their experience as couple units.  Spousal caregivers described their lives leading up to the need for relocation, managing relocation, and adapting to life after relocation.  Caregivers reported individual, yet interdependent challenges that they experienced as well as their strengths and abilities to cope during the transitions.  The findings from this study will contribute to the current literature informing health care practice and policy in supporting couples’ and their choices throughout the trajectory of living with dementia.  The application of this knowledge within multiagency and interdisciplinary fields will better serve each of the partners within the couple, and of the couple as the unit of care.


5(b) Sustaining Couplehood While Living with Dementia: Recommendations for Public Education, Health Care Provision, and Policy Development – Brandon University (Fran Racher, RN, PhD; Nancy McPherson, RN, MN; Donna Epp, RN, CDE)

The goal of this phenomenological study was to gain an understanding of the experience of older couples when one of the partners was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Couples who were living with dementia discussed the impact of the disease on their relationships as marital partners and with others, the challenges they experienced in managing their lives together, and the resources they required to continue to reside together in their own homes. The older couple was the unit of inquiry, data collection, and analysis. Eight couples shared their stories in a series of interviews over a 15-month period; a total of 46 interviews were completed. Experiences of change, problem solving, and loss were pervasive throughout the interviews. The resiliency of the relationship of each couple and the couple’s ability to manage living with dementia were strongly influenced by the severity of the disease; the capacity of the care partner; the relationship of the partners; and the degree with which the service providers, health professionals, family, and friends understood and supported the needs of the couple as a unit and the partners as individuals. This presentation will focus on the needs of older couples living with dementia, with recommendations for working with, providing care to, and supporting older couples in their interdependent independence. Recommendations for public education, health care provision, and policy development will be discussed.

Session 6 –

Ambiguous loss theory: An avenue for family centered practice – Dept of Psychiatric Nursing –Brandon University (Jane Karpa, RPN, MMFT, PhD (c))

Loss is a universal human condition.  Loss as a major life transition is most often associated with adverse life events signifying the loss of something believed to have been meaningful or of value.  Coined as the ‘silent epidemic’, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is recognized to dramatically affect the lives of survivors and their families.  Individuals with an ABI can experience a range of cognitive, behavioural and emotional impairments, often not visible, that may cause significant disruptions/changes to their psycho-social presence and identity.  These post ABI changes can directly impact individuals’ and families’ experiences and lead to an overwhelming sense of loss.

Ambiguous loss theory can provide an alternate perspective from which to view the impact of ABI on families.  Individuals affected by an ABI are physically present but psychologically absent: they are ‘seen’ to be in ‘body’ the same and yet at the same time acting and being a ‘different person’–the ‘hidden loss’.  Through the non-traditional lens of ambiguous loss theory, individuals’ and families’ perceptions of and responses to their loss are legitimized allowing for their reactions and functioning to be viewed as an acceptable expression of their experiences rather than pathologized, labelled and or seen as something to be ‘fixed’.

The purpose of this presentation is to describe ambiguous loss theory using lived experience examples.  The goal of this presentation is to promote discussion among those living with ambiguous loss and discuss implications for family-centered practice.

Session 7 –

Engagement and Recovery – Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Service Winnipeg Health Authority ( Val Mondor BScPN/RPN  and Terry Klassen BScPN/RPN)

The presentation will provide an overview of the PACT and EPPIS models with the focus on the principals of a recovery oriented model.  Presenters will share ways to support and engage individuals in services and assist them in identifying goals and developing recovery plans.  We acknowledge the diverse population of individuals that utilize our services and strive for building meaningful relationships with our participants and clients.

Presenters will also share a variety of tools used to engage individuals, gain an understanding of their interests and help the individual gain an understanding of themselves and their community.

Presenters will share the importance of resources in the community and the development of relationships with community resources.  There will also be discussion related to how PACT and EPPIS work with individuals utilizing a recovery oriented lens.

Session 8 –

8(a) Model Change in a rural community Mental Health program – University of Manitoba (Dr. Jolene Kinley Ph.D., C. Psych. Cand.  and Dr. Sandra Thompson Ph.D., C. Psych. )

Our rural community mental health program in rural Manitoba is overwhelmed with demand for service that has led to infrequent contact with a service provider, high stress levels among staff along with low job satisfaction and high turnover, and poor treatment outcomes. The program is currently undergoing a substantial model change. To date, we have already started a DBT group, CBT classes, a shared care program, a community-based self-help program (Bounce Back) available through physicians, and introduced a Mental Health Clinical Health Specialist position. Changes that are currently being discussed include DBT classes, a Coping with Change group for parents, direct access to psychiatry

(without a community mental health worker [CMHW]), increasing the use of telehealth, and training of CMHW’s in evidenced-based treatments. Future plans for model change include increasing group-based treatments, introducing a review panel for new clients, an improved website, and competency self-assessments for CMHW’s. The initial effects of these programs will be discussed, along with the challenges. Important considerations for allocation of resources will be highlighted.


8(b) Rural Working CARERS Program by videoconferencing: the Group Leader experience – Prairie Mountain Health (Tanis Horkey BScPN)

The Reitman Centre Working CARERS Program (RCWCP) is a small-group, therapeutic skills-building intervention designed for working dementia family caregivers. Successfully implemented in an urban center in Ontario, RCWCP sought to expand its suitability to support rural caregivers.  This 2-phase study aims to understand the needs of dementia caregivers in rural Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and the adaptability of RCWCP in these settings.

Using principles of Appreciative Inquiry and Participatory Action Research, community stakeholders and working caregivers were consulted at all phases of the study. Phase I involved focus group discussion with community stakeholders from agencies such as regional health authorities and local chapters of Alzheimer Society regarding community preparedness, barriers and facilitators of implementation, and the potential impact of RCWCP.  In-depth interviews were also conducted with 10 working caregivers from these communities to understand their lived experience, needs and expectations.

At this presentation, the group leader’s perspective of program delivery will be explored. Facilitating skills-building interventions via videoconferencing presents unique opportunities. Participating caregivers quickly adapted to the technology and with the guidance from the clinicians, they developed a high level of cohesion and mutual support. Videoconferencing also provided working caregivers easy access to an evidence-based intervention regardless of their geographical locations. In conclusion, the structured framework of RCWCP guided the live, web-based delivery of the group therapeutic process, and in turn, supported working caregivers in engaging ways, allowing them to build and master necessary skills to manage their dual role as an employee and a dementia family caregiver.

2:00-2:30 pm Nutritional Break /Networking Break/ Poster Viewing

Session 9

Drawing the Curtain on Student Problem Behaviour: Addressing Underlying Mental Health Issue – Brandon University (Patrick  Morrisette  Ph.D. RMFT and Karen Doty-Sweetnam M.ED, RPN)

The pursuit of undergraduate education is a significant milestone for many students. A key finding within the undergraduate student age group is the increasing incidence of mental health problems. During their transition to the university context students can encounter scholastic and social/emotional issues (e.g., identity formation, emotion management, self-sufficiency, and interpersonal relationship formation). This transitional phase, otherwise known as emerging adulthood can present a host of challenges including problem student behavior. The long term negative effects of mental illness may hinder a student’s realization of developmental milestones vital to adulthood.

This presentation is based on the premise that student problem behavior may be symptomatic of an underlying or emerging mental health issue(s) which affects one’s judgment, competency, and conduct. Without a better understanding regarding the association between student mental health and problem behavior, methods designed to support students, while fostering a safe and respectful learning environment remain unknown. Further ignoring, minimizing, rationalizing or disregarding this topic can inadvertently reinforce and perpetuate unacceptable behavior and can have major implications for the affected student, the greater a student population, educators, and administrators.  Along with raising awareness regarding student problem behavior, this presentation addresses the manifestation of mental health issues and proactive strategies designed to avoid and manage problematic behavior. Specific attention will be devoted to inclusive education and the reluctance of students to disclose mental health issues.

Session 10

Four Unique Gifts Trained Peers Bring When Partnered with Mental Health Teams – Prairies to Peaks Consulting Inc. (AB) (Beth Henry CPS )

As mental health consumers journey towards recovery, supportive teams are required. These teams generally consist of clinicians providing symptom relief, counselors / psychologists addressing cognitive behaviours etc and other various resources. As a business that provides training to mental health peers from personal, peer perspectives, Prairies to Peaks Consulting Inc will encourage exploration of the value of adding a peer worker who has experienced a mental health crisis themselves to the existing team.

Prairies To Peaks Consulting Inc. suggests that the following four pillars provide insight to the value of peers in a mental health team and offers peer training with these pillars in mind.

1. Trained peers strengthen their own recovery as they speak out and live out their recovery journey in front of those who are not as far along the recovery path.

2. Peers are able to help other individuals from a ‘I’ve been there” perspective, thereby uniquely offering hope.

3. Stigma is reduced as people talk about and normalize their recovery as seen with the Clara Hughes ride etc.

4. Having peers work on the team is a cost effective option for our overburdened   health systems.

Each session would be facilitated by a peer with lived experience, ensuring authenticity. Peer support has become a National initiative with the Mental Health Commission of Canada who delegated the standardizing of peer work to PSAC-Canada around 2011.

Session 11 – (2 presentations)

11(a) Wanted: A Place to Call Home- Brandon’s Plan to End Youth Homelessness – Brandon University (Naomi Leadbeater M. Mus and Jan Marie Graham B.Sc.N., M.N.)

Homelessness and specifically youth homelessness, is a problem in Brandon and the surrounding area.  In 2014, the City of Brandon was selected as a site for a pilot project Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness as part of a national coalition called “A Way Home”.  The purpose of the plan, “A Place to Call Home:  Brandon’s Plan to End Youth Homelessness”, is to engage partners in effective community planning that focuses on service integration and alignment of strategies and resources.

In January, 2015, a Point in Time count revealed that 47% of 117 homeless people surveyed were under the age of 30 and 35% of these people had been homeless for more than a year.  One third of all respondents were female and 20% of those female respondents had children under the age of 5 with them on the day of the count.  Many youth reported moving to Brandon to access resources such as affordable housing, jobs, and health services not available in their home communities.  Some were fleeing domestic violence.  It is recognized that people with mental illness and addiction issues tend to be over-represented among or at-risk of homelessness.

This presentation will provide information on the issues of youth homelessness in Brandon and surrounding area, as well as the goals, implementation and evaluation strategies of the project.

11(b) Navigating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Gender-Non-Conforming, Two-Spirit, Queer, Questioning, and Asexual (LGBTTQ*)– LGBT

Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, LGBTTQ* folks experience higher rates of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, chronic stress, anxiety and depression, feelings of guilt, shame, and fear, isolation and alienation, low self-concept, loss of motivation, partner violence, smoking and substance abuse, suicide ideation and attempts, and much more. These higher rates are not because of a person’s identity: it is a response to and a result of living in and navigating a heterosexist, cissexist, homophobic, biphobia, lesbophobic, and transphobic society. In a small, rural, and conservative city like Brandon, MB, deep-rooted phobias are some of the toughest things for LGBTTQ* people to navigate. What is more, LGBTTQ* people are underserved by mental health professionals, and often experience discrimination as they seek care.


This presentation will identify how systems of oppression impact the mental health and well-being of Western Manitoba LGBTTQ* individuals, families, and communities.  The presenter will also acknowledge the benefits of affirming community-building, and peer-support initiatives (such as The BTOWNQ and the Westman Trans* Social/Support Group) to LGBTTQ* individuals, families, and communities living, working, playing, visiting, and loving in Western Manitoba.

Session 12

ECT for BPSD Electroconvulsive Therapy in people with Dementia and behavioural disorders – College of Medicine, University of Manitoba  (Dr. Barry Campbell MD, FRCPC)


Electroconvulsive Therapy in people with Dementia and behavioural disorders. Electroconvulsive Therapy has been utilized as a therapeutic option for over 80 years and continues to be used despite multiple myths, misconceptions and polarized views about its place in mental health care.

In this session attendees will learn about the origins of ECT, the history of its journey from the only effective therapeutic option for major mental illness to seldom used “last resort” option and finally to its current place as a well understood complex form of therapeutic brain stimulation.

Dementia commonly causes behavioural problems and therapeutic options are few.  The use of ECT a case of patient over 90 years old with dementia will be reviewed.


Session 13

13 (a) Fostering Mental Health Wellness for Students at Brandon University – Brandon University (Dr. Chris Brown B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. (G&C), M.Ed.(Spec.Ed.), Ph.D and Ms Michelle Magnusson)

The purpose of this interactive presentation is to share mental health intervention strategies that are being used at Brandon University by the presenters.

In the winter of 2015-16, one of the presenters conducted a workshop for pre-service and practicing teachers titled “Show Up, Be Present, and Keep Moving: Three Strategies for Teacher Wellness. This workshop provided proven mindful stress reduction strategies for teachers to use to avoid burnout and to stay healthy and invigorated in the classroom. The presenters are also planning similar work, through Student Accessibility Services at Brandon University for the fall of 2016. They plan to provide a workshop to interested students who may also be challenged by anxiety. These workshops are based on positive psychology and third wave cognitive behavioral therapy, which emphasizes mindfulness and lifelong wellness.  Several of the strategies taught in the workshops will be discussed during the session. As well, participants will also learn what is happening in the field and at Student Accessibility Services at Brandon University to support students who may be challenged by anxiety.

13(b) On-line Mental Health support: Opportunities, Risks and Challenges – Farm, Rural and Northern for Klinic Community Health  Brandon Site (Janet Smith)

The internet has become a primary source of health information. People are more likely to find health information online than go to a family physician. The internet is also a place where people go to tell their stories and connect with others (Journal of Medical Internet Research).

Within this digital world, there is growing public demand for on-line mental health information and support. This takes a variety of forms including: websites, moderated forums, on-line self-help groups, email helplines, chat (Instant messaging), and text support.  On-line technologies offer new ways to connect with vulnerable and/or harder-to-reach populations (youth, indigenous peoples, men, people with disabilities, as well as farmers, rural people and those living in northern/remote communities). Factors contributing to the interest in online counselling include: perceived anonymity, convenience, accessibility, and reduced stigma, among others.

This presentation will examine emerging best practices with respect to the provision of on-line mental health services. The presenter will examine the use of new technologies and how they contribute to supporting people with mental health concerns. The workshop will cite examples of online supports being used in crisis and distress centres, both nationally and internationally. The presenter will offer an in-depth look at the online chat service offered by the Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services, identifying benefits, risks and challenges of the service.

Session 14- (2 presentations)

14(a) Mental Health Supported Transition Evaluating and Planning (MH STEP) – An Innovative Strategy in Prairie Mountain (PMH) aimed at Preventing Suicide – Westman Crisis Services (Kimberley Toews RPN, BScPN and Jodine Szabo RPN, RN)

Suicide is a serious mental health problem in Canada. Innovative approaches are required to increase safety for individuals who have been affected by suicidal thoughts and attempts. Evidence exists that many people are still experiencing suicide ideation when they are discharged from a hospital or supported setting. Often the transition home is difficult and offers an increased time of vulnerability. Research indicates that people are at increased risk of dying by suicide when they have made an attempt within the past year. The MH STEP program was designed to offer one year of support to vulnerable individuals with the most intensive support delivered in their home following their discharge from a hospital setting. A collaborative approach between hospital, community providers, psychiatry, and external providers has been instrumental in the success of this program. The best indicator of the success of this program is measured by the 100% survival rate of all MH STEP clients. In 2013, PMH was honored with an Innovative Health Award for MH STEP; application has been made to Accreditation Canada to have this deemed a Leading Practice.

This presentation aims to increase understanding of this suicide intervention program. Participants of this presentation will increase their knowledge of this existing program delivered by mental health clinicians in PMH. Participants will gain information of steps being taken to expand the delivery of MH STEP.


14(b) Caring for Families Who Have Experienced a Suicide Loss – Suicide Bereavement Support, Klinic Community Health Brandon Site (Kim Hyndman-Moffat)

To provide firsthand experience and learning around ways to best support, care and comfort those individuals who have lost a family member, friend, or colleague to suicide. Participants will be offered information about the unique features of grief following a loss by suicide. A brief overview of the impact of suicide grief and trauma on families will also be explored.

Participants will learn about the role of the helper in the grief process and some practical tools used to support families.

Information will be shared around the benefits of peer support.  Sharing will take place around what one can expect when attending a grief support group.  A group participant will speak to their experience around their attendance to the group.

In Manitoba, someone dies by suicide every other day. Studies show that for every death by suicide, there are at least 10 people who are directly and significantly impacted by such a loss.  With so many people left to grieve and to pick up the pieces, there is an important role that peer support can play. Currently in rural Manitoba, access to such support is lacking. Creating awareness, knowledge and a comprehensive network of suicide bereavement support groups will help to increase family’s ability to get the help they need in order to move forward in their grief journey.

Session 15

Mental Health and Recovery in the Brandon area – Expressions Prairie Mountain Health

Mental Health Supports and Services in the Brandon Area and PMH efforts to reduce stigma by promoting mental health and offering opportunities for social inclusion in our various programs.

This presentation will share with the greater Brandon community the excellent work being done in PSR/Psychosocial Rehabilitation in the form of an hour long panel presentation.  Representatives from PMH (Prairie Mountain Health) Mental Health and people with lived experience will share their stories of hope and recovery and will share highlights from a programming and service delivery standpoint, as well as from a consumer point of view.

Our presenters will share both personal stories of their journey and demonstrate the importance of hope, inclusion and understanding as well as pride and self-confidence gained from peer support and living a meaningful life.  You will learn about some of our programs including Art Space, BOSS, Community Support Services, Expressions, GATE, Ventures, and education in the areas of coping, self-esteem, and resilience.  We hope that people with lived experience who are on a fixed budget can attend the mental health conference.

Session 16

Spirituality in Mental Health: The Importance of Addressing this Key Dimension for Enhancing Resilience and Mental health Recovery – Mental Health, Province of MB – Judith Birch

Spirituality often plays an important role in helping people maintain good mental health and in recovery from a mental health problem or illness.  Individuals with lived experience of mental illness have consistently identified spirituality as important to them and have a desire for a greater integration of spirituality into their recovery process. At the same time, spirituality is not well understood or addressed in clinical mental health settings. Mental health services can enhance their service delivery by addressing the spiritual dimension of care through spiritual assessment and support for the inclusion of spirituality into recovery planning.

This workshop will enhance understanding of the spiritual dimension of recovery and put forward best practices for integrating this important dimension into whole person mental health services.

The current consensus definition of spirituality in health care, reached through international consensus, will be presented.  Following this, the evidence linking spirituality to resilience and better coping, reduced relapse and enhanced recovery will be explored. The workshop will provide information on commonly used assessment tools and on appropriate referrals to spiritual health services. Finally, resources will be provided to support mental health providers to identify and articulate their own spirituality in order to enhance their clinical practice.

6:00 pm Cocktails
6:30-9:00 p.m.

Conference Banquet and

Keynote Speaker Cheryl Craig B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., Ph.D.

Stories to Live By: In Search of the Best-Loved Self – This talk uses two concepts from educational research, ‘stories to live by’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999) and ‘the best-loved self’ (Schwab, 1954/1978) to discuss life in narrative terms. People mostly author their own lives and live stories of their own making.  However, they also live within larger societal narratives not of their own choosing. Sometimes ‘stories to leave by’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999) are necessary for the best-loved self to flourish—as several exemplars of incommensurate living will show.  In the final analysis, at any given moment, one’s state of health—and one’s best-loved self—depends on our choices—that is, the stories we personally choose to author and the stories we find ourselves living within.

Harvest Hall Dining room



October 14th, 2016 (Friday)
9:00am-10:15 am

RHA Panel – Making Recovery Transformation a Reality

Manitoba’s mental health system is transforming into a more recovery-oriented system but what does this mean, how is this different from the services that are already being provided and what can I do to support this transformation? Panel members will provide participants with an overview of their understanding of recovery, how they are supporting the system transformation, and valuable resources that support transformation and recovery-oriented service delivery.

Harvest Hall Dining Room

10:15 am-

10:30 am

Nutritional Break /Networking Break/ Poster Viewing
10: 40am-12:00 noon

Session 17 –

The Blanket Exercise ( Karios Brandon) Debby Dandy

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples—which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop.


Session 18 –

How Does it Feel? Experience Dementia– Alzheimer Society of MB (Program Staff)

Participants will be led through a variety of simulations designed to provide insight into the cognitive, sensory, physical and communication changes that people with dementia may experience. The session will help attendees to appreciate the need to modify approaches, increase empathy for people living with cognitive changes and highlight the importance of understanding the caregiver’s experience when they support a person living with dementia.


Session 19 – (2 presentations)

19(a) Masculinity and Issues of depression and suicide – University of Manitoba (Kerstin Roger MA/MS, PhD.)

Masculinity, and in fact gender, is a much debated topic these days. With much discussion in the media about gender on the one hand, and issues of depression and suicide on the other, we need to better understand how these two intersect with a particular focus on the Prairies. This presentation will describe the findings of two national studies funded by Movember and conducted in Canada. What are the key issues that we as Manitobans need to focus on? I will reflect on the idea of masculinity, and also on the context of depression and suicide as well as aging as a man. Older men are among the highest at risk group of people for suicide. I will present some questions for future work on diversity and marginalized communities on this topic in Manitoba.

19(b) “VID-KIDS” Promising Results from a Interaction Guidance Intervention for Improving Maternal-Infant Interaction Quality of Depressed Mothers: A Feasibility Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial– Brandon University (Penny TryphonopoulosR.N., B.N., M.N., PhD)

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a major public health issue affecting approximately 1 in 5 mothers. PPD is known as “the thief that steals motherhood” since symptoms obstruct a mother’s capacity for understanding and enjoying her baby. Treating PPD, however successfully, has not consistently improved maternal-infant interaction quality. Parent training promoting sensitive and responsive interactions may be helpful in supporting the healthy development of children with depressed mothers.


Session 20 – (2 presentations)

20(a) The Lived Experiences of Psychiatric Nurses Working as Mental Health Clinicians in Rural Manitoba – Brandon University (Kim Toews MPN Candidate)

Rural consumers of mental health services are affected by the negative concept of distance decay which is a worsening of healthcare the further one lives away from urban centres. This concept is impacted by difficulties recruiting and retaining quality mental health professionals to service rural and remote areas of Manitoba.

The level of engagement of rural mental health professionals with resulting job satisfaction will impact a decision to be retained by their current employer. The literature suggests that a variety of problematic factors negatively impact these professionals including: inadequate education preparing students for this autonomous service; inappropriate urban design of mental health care for rural settings; high degree of role strain and conflict for rural mental health staff; inappropriate recruitment of professionals who lack understanding of rural life; and an inability of rural professionals to develop their career.

This presentation aims to inform participants of a study undertaken to increase the understanding of the unique experiences of psychiatric nurses working as mental health clinicians in rural Manitoba. Participants will learn about factors that impact recruitment and retention of psychiatric nurses to these positions. The information gained from this session may assist healthcare leaders and educators to improve upon human resource policy, thus improving the mental health service delivery system.

20(b) Keeping Your Head Above Water: Clinicians and Caregivers Managing Self-Care in Rural Settings of Vicarious Trauma – Brandon University (Marsha Harris and Sherry Sawatzky-Dyck Student Services Counsellors)

People in all sectors of society come into contact with those experiencing mental health symptoms, creating the potential of suffering vicarious trauma due to their dedication of support. In order to maintain the positive momentum towards improving mental health strategies in rural settings, the impact of vicarious trauma needs to be addressed with the same commitment and priority that other mental health issues are. Clinicians and caregivers in rural settings have high levels of stress, trauma and other forms of mental illness, making it timely to address these.

Vicarious trauma is the result of empathic engagement or bearing witness to another’s suffering, leading to negative changes in psychological, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Rural clinicians and caregivers of those who have experienced trauma and other mental health issues often are exposed to greater levels of vicarious trauma due to the dual roles and complicated relationships they hold, creating unique opportunities of both healing and harm. On the one hand, rural settings are uniquely positioned to support the members who have experienced trauma, given their ongoing relationships. However, these relationships can also be hurtful in that clinicians and caregivers in rural settings may have fewer outlets of self-protection than those from larger communities who might have more access to outside supports and the capacity to isolate themselves from those being traumatized more frequently.

During this interactive session participants will gain insight into recognizing, preventing and addressing vicarious trauma within the unique context of rural settings through discussion and case studies.


Session 21 –  (2 presentations)

3(a) Living with and Recovering from a Brain Injury – Brandon and Area Acquired Brain Injury (Lori Kemp)

This presentation describes the process and impact to survivors, family members and student psychiatric nurses in understanding brain injuries and the individualized roads of recovery.   The Brandon and Area Survivor and Family Support group survivors and family members continue to work with Brandon University psychiatric nursing students to explore, describe and promote awareness of brain injuries through writing recovery narratives.  For individuals and their families living with a brain injury learning to live with the new “Me” and the life altering daily  challenges created by the brain injury recovery often seems improbable  A panel of survivors, family members and registered psychiatric nurses(former psychiatric nursing students), will describe their collaborative experiences in documenting individual journeys of recovery. The registered psychiatric nurses will describe how working with survivors as a student to document their journey of recovery has   impacted their psychiatric nursing practice as a front line health care professional.

3(b) Photovoice – Promoting Recovery While Living with a Brain Injury – Prairie Mountain Health – Sharon Elliott & Lori Kemp

Photovoice is a project that can be used in many different ways to assist groups of people to review their circumstances, to assess their strengths, identify challenges and to focus on the future. The Brandon and Area Acquired Brain Injury Support Group partnered with Brandon University Health Studies Department of Psychiatric Nursing students to assist and support individuals living with a brain injury and their family members to share their stories through a Photovoice. Third year BScPN students in 2014 and 2015 worked with volunteer group members to complete a group Photovoice. Consent forms were signed by all who were included in the project with parents signing on behalf of minors. As the project was completed during the winter term the majority of participants used pictures from their albums. A compilation of the two projects illustrated beautifully that there are many ways to use a concept like Photovoice to promote, enhance, and explore recovery. The student psychiatric nurses expressed that this was a good learning experience assisting them in their understanding of recovery while individuals affected by a brain injury talk about how it has helped them in their recovery, learning to value their various supports and in learning to live with the new “me”.  The presentation will include a brief description of the project followed by excerpts of the Photovoice prepared by the students and individuals living with a brain injury.




12:15pm 12:50 pm Lunch/ Networking Break/ Poster Viewing Down Under McMaster Hall
1:00-2:15 pm

Consumer and Family Panel

·         The Recovery Journey: How Manitoba’s HERO Clubs are Bridging Gaps and Supporting Recovery in Rural Communities – Swan River Community Health Services  (Maria Kent) SPMI Speakers

·         ABI Family and Consumer Rep

·         Suicide Prevention

2:15-2:30 Nutritional Break
2:45-3:30 Guest Speaker Victoria Maxwell Harvest Hall Dining Room
3:30-4:00 *** Conference Wrap Up***