On Friday November 11th and Saturday November 12th the Ontario Association of Social Workers held their 2016 provincial conference. The theme of the conference was “Social Work for the 22nd Century: Accelerators & Innovators.” A call was put out for organizations and individuals to showcase innovative approaches being utilized by social workers in various settings. The Scarborough Hospital was well represented with three poster presentations offered by Jawad B. and Halimo H., Janany J., and Nadia Y. There were a total of 35 presentations and no other organization was represented by multiple presenters.
The opening keynote session was conducted by Emmanuel Bochud, his topic was “From Circus Lesson to Life Lesson: Circus, Arts and Creativity – Accelerators for Social Development.” It was an inspiring talk on Cirque du Monde, the social advocacy wing of Cirque du Soleil. Emmanuel explained how Cirque du Monde has existed for decades and partners circus performers with social workers to create sustainable community programs all over the world. There have been over 100 successful projects since its inception.
There was also a moving special presentation by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Daniel Poulin & Sarah Pentney entitled, “It Takes a Community to Raise a Children’s Human Rights Case: The Story of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare.” They discussed the significant rulings by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which has ordered the Canadian government to fulfill its legal and moral obligations to fund basic health care needs for First Nations children. The discussion offered a brief yet comprehensive understanding of the plight of First nation’s youth from the residential school system up until today. Here is a link and description of a short, yet powerful talk in which Dr. Blackstock shares, “The 7 Ways to Make a Difference”, which include community based social movements for positive change in areas such as child welfare, healthcare and education for First Nations children, youth and families. They also provide practical opportunities for individuals and organizations to help ensure First Nations children and youth have culturally-based opportunities for success.
And here are the 3 presentations by our colleagues from the Mental Health Department…
Meet Me Where I’m At: Providing Services for Hard to Reach Populations:
Jawad B. and Halimo H. presented on the many innovative practices of the Justice & Mental Health (JAMH) team and their ability to quickly adapt and adjust to the needs of their clients and the environment.
Relaxation During Cancer Treatment: Decreasing Distress in Oncology Patients in the Treatment Room:
Nadia Y. shared information on the cutting edge 5-step model of the iMindful program, which offers oncology patients the opportunity to experience mindfulness meditation in the treatment room. A lack of mental health services for oncology patients led to the implementation of this tool to decrease distress and improve access to self-help interventions.
iCBT vs. CBT: Internet assisted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Adults Compared to Traditional CBT in a Canadian Hospital:
Janany J. presented information on the innovative Internet-assisted CBT program, which had great interest from attendees. The Scarborough Hospital, in partnership with Queen’s University, has developed this program in order to help improve access to care.
-Jawad B. (Social Worker for Justice and Mental Health Program)