half day workshops

Note: Each ½ day module can be mixed, matched, and adapted to fit agency and team needs.

Trauma & the Provider
Learning Outcomes:

  • Introduce trauma-informed theory and basic principles
  • Examine what trauma histories can look like for specific communities (gbMSM, trans folks, Indigenous communities, women, and newcomers)
  • Identify signs of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue
  • Analyze case scenarios and apply trauma-informed theory to conceptualize service users’ presenting concerns
  • Explore themes that arise with service users while doing outreach with people seeking HIV testing, people who access bathhouses, sex workers, people living with HIV that access support services, and those encountered during street outreach shifts.

Harm Reduction in Practice
Harm reduction approaches have become the standard of care and an expectation in many social service settings. However, many front line service providers have not had the opportunity to process their own personal values, questions about what constitutes “harm”, their role in supporting clients, and the fears and barriers they may experience in implementing programs and services that are harm reduction-based. This workshop will allow for a values exploration, a space for honest and perhaps difficult conversations, and concrete tools and examples of implementing harm reduction interventions on front line and organizational levels.

Strengthening Outreach Skills
Learning Outcomes:

  1. Review examples of conversations between service provider and service user in order to
    a) identify systemic factors at play in the context of outreach conversations
    b) use self-reflexivity to gather information about the dynamic (e.g. what are you feeling and thinking? What is the service user likely feeling and thinking?)
    c) convert ‘what we think we know’ (and other assumptions) into exploratory, non-judgmental questions

  2. Consider what factors comprise an optimal and effective outreach response (e.g. tone & length, affirming subtext of statements, open-ended questions, objective information, warm-referral sources).

  3. Use role-play exercises to demonstrate and evaluate outreach conversations as a group.

Understanding Mental Health in Queer Guys & People Living With HIV
Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore the context in which mental health concerns get activated for queer and trans guys
  • Define mental health and wellbeing
  • Discuss social and developmental factors that affect the mental health of queer/trans guys and people living with HIV
  • Group work to analyze the impact of:
    • Internalized homophobia/transphobia
    • Body image
    • Relationship seeking
    • Substance use

Understanding & Supporting People with Psychosis
Learning Outcomes:

  • Review overarching mental health diagnostic categories and locate common experiences of psychosis
  • Explore the specific clinical presentations of delusions, hallucinations and/or experiences of non-consensus realities
  • Analyze case scenarios through a trauma-informed and culturally-aware practice lens
  • Discuss multiple interventions for supporting clients and consider implications for non-pathologizing approaches to psychosis

Psychedelics N’ Psychosis - the other PnP
Learning Outcomes:

  • Define psychosis and locate it within the context of Schizophrenia Spectrum (and Other Psychotic) Disorders
  • Briefly review all DSM disorders and conditions that can include psychotic features
  • Identify key cross cultural and anti-oppressive considerations (and tensions) when supporting people who experience non-consensus realities
  • Discuss the range of substance-induced psychoses that are possible
  • Examine existing research and literature on the experience of methamphetamine-induced psychosis specifically
  • Explore suitable approaches and intervention methods when working with queer guys and other individuals who experience meth-induced psychosis

Mental Health Readiness Assessments for Transition-Related Surgeries
As of March 2016, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) changed the funding criteria for transition-related surgeries by allowing “qualified providers” throughout the province to assess patients for the surgery. Registered social workers have been designated as one of five professionals that are able to provide readiness assessments for trans people seeking lower/genital surgeries.

The learning outcomes of this module include:

  • Review of trans 101 material: definitions, concept of gender diversity, challenging the gender binary and cis-centrism, issues of systemic oppression, examples of interpersonal and institutional transphobia, particularly in health care settings
  • Review of the WPATH Standards of Care and Ministry of Health & Long Term Care requirements
  • Discussion of what surgery planning visits can look like between clinical social workers and clients
  • Concrete examples of questions providers can ask to support client readiness and to develop strong support letters
  • Conceptualizing the care planning process for various clinical presentations along with critical reflection on power, medicalization if identities, and challenging paternalism

    Note: this module can be done by a registered social worker alone or in conjunction with a registered nurse with experience in this area of work.

Trans People in Women’s Shelters: Inclusion and Policy Roadmaps
This workshop will begin with a tailored “trans 101” to support exploration of basic concepts of gender identity and examples of specific challenges trans and gender diverse clients experience while navigating cis-centric (and women’s-specific) social services. We will then use case studies as a medium to allow participants to a) analyze their own assumptions, b) consider the criteria that may be used to determine if a client is a fit for shelter services, and c) examine implications for working with clients or referring them to other services. Finally, we will discuss factors that would be useful to consider and questions the organization might ask while creating policies around inclusion for trans and gender diverse service users.

Note: this module will likely be facilitated by a cisgender ally. Please consider seeking a trainer from the trans community first.