WHITEHORSE—In January, 32 Yukoners completed a workshop that will enable them to lead Making Connections support groups in the territory. Making Connections is a support group for women with experiences of abuse, substance use or mental health issues. The workshops were provided free of charge by the Yukon departments of Justice and Health and Social Services.
“During the facilitator training session, participants learned how to tailor and deliver the 16-week Making Connections service,” Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mike Nixon said. “Now that there are trained facilitators in the territory, we hope to see Yukon women accessing this support group service.”
The B.C. Women’s Hospital & Health Centre developed the Making Connections model, and trainers from the program facilitated the two-and-a-half day session in Whitehorse. The Yukoners who took part in the training work in professions such as mental health, addiction treatment, social work, corrections, and First Nations health. This is the first time that Making Connections facilitator training has been offered in Yukon.
“Providing women with the knowledge and tools to help themselves and their families when experiencing abuse is very important,” Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham said. “Our sponsorship of Making Connections is a valuable contribution towards their support.”
Sandy Schmidt, prevention consultant with Alcohol and Drug Services, was one of the workshop coordinators. “When attendance barriers, like substance use, are removed from group support services women can access support at any time in their life,” Schmidt said. “We’re pleased to offer this training to service providers in our communities.”
“Traditional group-support environments can be unwelcoming to women with mental health concerns or substance-use issues,” Victim Services supervisor Michelle Rabeau said. “However, more often than not, these women need the connections and support that group support can provide.”