New Insights into Mental Health Conference 2019 Being Held in Ottawa

A New Insights into Mental Health Conference is being held in Ottawa from October 7 till the 11th. The conference is being organized by the Military Family Resource Center (MFRC) and Thinking in Pictures Educational Services (TIPES).

Layal Dleikan, Family Wellness Services Manager for the MFRC and one of the several organizers of the conference, explains, “The collaboration with TIPES came to be organically. They found they were working more and more with our military families and approached us to develop ways to better serve our community. They do tremendous work supporting the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) community, so it was a natural fit with our Special Needs and Wellness Programming.”

Three workshops will be offered:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – PTSD & Anxiety Disorders: a two-day workshop for professionals and front line workers
  • CBT Informed Caring For Family Members and Friends with Loved Ones with PTSD and Anxiety Disorders: a two-day workshop for family members, friends, and caregivers, which also includes a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • CBT Techniques for Autism Spectrum Disorder: one day workshop for professionals and front line workers

The conference aims to give families and caregivers concrete tools for supporting their loved ones with mental health challenges.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an evidence-based form of therapy that helps individuals become more conscious of their automatic thoughts and beliefs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims to change unhelpful thinking styles, leading to emotional and behavioural recovery. Through roleplay, lectures, and open floor discussions, attendees will learn how to support those with mental health challenges.

Layal Dleikan said, “New Insights Into Mental Health hopes to address the stigma around mental health and ASD in our society today, and in particular in the CAF. We want to talk about these topics and shed light on them in a positive and supportive way.”

Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne Bailey will provide opening remarks. Dleikan said, “We were thrilled that Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne Bailey is supporting the conference by providing opening remarks on Monday, October 7, 2019, since she has been a champion of supporting the mental health and resilience of the CAF.”

Since 2008, LCol Bailey has led the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) mental health and resilience training program.

Dr. Douglas Turkington and Helen Spencer from the United Kingdom will offer the training.

Dr. Turkington is a world-renowned psychiatrist, consultant, and professor at Newcastle University, UK. He is a pioneer on the use of CBT in severe mental disorders and has trained internationally for 20 years.

Helen Spencer has worked with Dr. Douglas for ten years.

More information can be found on the MFRC NRC website.

The conference will be held at the Nepean Sportsplex.


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Tonya De Agostinis

From Montreal, Tonya joined the military community late in life when her husband joined the forces after a public service career. Now in Kingston, she is navigating the trials and blessings that come from having her own career, raising children, and being the partner of someone on a high readiness unit and the DART.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine