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Concurrent Facilitated Discussions [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 17


Building Resilience In Children and Youth -Rebecca Fairchild, Jennifer First, Carolyn Mak, Madelyn Labella, Myrna McNitt, Gerald Jacobs
Building Resilience In Children And Youth:

Abstract # 19
Strengthening Relationships: Music Therapy Performances With Pre-Adolescent Children And Families Living In Crisis
Presenter: Rebecca Fairchild
Living in crisis due to homelessness and family violence often leads to a lack of positive health resources, broken relationships and feelings of isolation for pre-adolescent children.  Engaging in creative mediums provides an outlet for children to express their emotions, connect with others and developing healthy coping styles (McFerran, 2010). This paper describes a qualitative research project exploring the experience of sharing a music therapy performance for children and their families. Three pre-adolescent children participated in a 14-week music therapy group that culminated in the sharing of a musical performance with their families. Following the performance, interviews were conducted with the participants in the program as well as their parents. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009) identified individual and shared themes, and the findings will be discussed. 

Abstract # 20
Enhancing Resilience In Children And Adolescents Using The Resilience And Coping Intervention (RCI)
Presenter: Jennifer First
The Resilience and Coping Intervention (RCI) is a group intervention designed for use with school-aged children and adolescents to help participants identify thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies related to psychological, behavioral, and relationship issues following a traumatic or other problematic experience or event in the context of developmental challenges and the usual stresses of daily life. RCI is a coping exercise that engages a group of children or adolescents in a dialogue about issues that may be difficult to discuss, encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings about their experiences and to identify appropriate and successful coping strategies. RCI is a strength-based intervention that can be administered in a single session by mental health professionals, teachers, parents, caregivers, or other adults in the community that have been trained in conducting the interview.  Results from a non-controlled before and after study revealed that participating children and youth (N=74) reported increased hope about the future, improved coping skills, and a better overall ability to handle emotions and behaviors.

Abstract # 25
Kids Help Phone's Online And Mobile Tools
Presenter: Carolyn Mak
This Facilitated Discussion will present two of Kids Help Phone’s online and mobile tools that support youth mental health and well-being; our mobile app, Always There, and interactive map-based tool, Resources Around Me. Always There was launched in December, 2012 and has five features including a Feelings Log, Stress Buster, vetted information from our Teens' websites, as well as the ability to reach a professional counsellor at the touch of a button. Launched in January, 2014, Resources Around Me puts the power of Kids Help Phone’s Community Resource Database – which our counsellors use every day to help young people connect to services offering direct support in their communities – in the hands of youth themselves. By offering these tools in English and French to young people, free, and available 24/7, we are empowering them to explore information, services, and resources that work best for them in a medium with which they are most familiar. We believe that this helps them build skills to support themselves when they are faced with challenges and encourages help-seeking.

Abstract # 8
Promoting Resilience By Improving Children's Sleep: A Pilot Intervention For High-Risk Families
Presenter: Madelyn Labella
Authors: Madelyn H. Labella, Andrew J. Barnes, Amanda W. Kalstabakken, Janelle Leppa, Ann S. Masten
Poverty has been linked to sleep disruption, which is in turn associated with behavior problems and poor physical health (Bates et al., 2002; Brouillette et al., 2011). Thus, sleep disturbance may be a key mechanism for effects of poverty on child development. In a collaborative effort to promote resilience by improving sleep, university and community partners developed a novel intervention to boost healthy sleep habits in low-income families, with potential benefits for children’s sleep quality, self-regulation, and family routines. 
Pilot participants are twelve 4-8 year old children and their biological mothers, all residing in transitional housing. Families are predominantly African American, led by single parents who are currently unemployed. Targeted outcomes are family routines, household chaos, and children’s sleep, self-regulation, and behavior, assessed by parent report, sleep actigraphy, and executive function performance. 
At baseline, children’s behavior problems were associated with exposure to stress (recent and lifetime), household chaos was inversely related to family routines, and sleep problems were negatively associated with income. Sleep data acquired throughout the intervention, results from follow-up testing, and parent feedback will be presented. Preliminary evidence of feasibility and acceptability, along with implications for community collaboration, will be discussed.  

Abstract # 52
Children In Foster Care: A Positive Experience Or A Threat To Resilience?
Presenter: Myrna McNitt Co - Presenters: Kathleen Kufeldt
Children receive protection through interventions delivered by formal systems of care including use of foster care.  Children have the right to be linked to their family and community, and receive developmentally appropriate interventions to assure for their protection and well-being.  In child protection the rights of the child are best carried out when services are child centered, family focused, and community based.  All too often child protection services are loosely organized and constructed; and are reactive rather than proactively planned.  Poor outcomes in foster care been well documented in areas of education, employability, substance misuse and early parenting.  Lyons and Rogers (2004) indicate that half of children in the system have clinically significant emotional or behavioral problems…this high level of mental health problems makes the child welfare system a behavioral health care system. There is a failure in child welfare to use evidence based practices drawing from services which are clinically based and scientifically researched. (p.134)  All of this undermines the resiliency of the foster child. To reduce risks and promote resiliency, services must be holistic and address the child’s normative development in all areas.  Assessment and Action Records are evidenced based and promote healthy child development and resiliency.

Abstract #335
Youth Transitioning from Care:  A Youth Development Approach strengthening Resilience
Presenter: Gerald Jacobs 
Mamelani Projects is a Non-Profit in Cape Town, South Africa.  Mamelani’s Youth Development Programme works with young people transitioning from residential Child and Youth Care Centers. We have developed an approach that capacitates young people to deal with realities post-care. Research has shown that without adequate support, this target group faces poor outcomes in adult life. We are working with young people, and nurturing the environments into which they return to strengthen practices and service provision towards pathway planning for smoother transitions. We have drawn lessons from International research (local research in this area is still very limited), and have been encouraged to see the approach is well suited to address the contextual issues in the sector and also aligned with International best practice We would like to share our experiences of developing an approach – one that is a contextually sensitive and a South African model for providing transitional support. The approach outlines a positive youth development practice that is strengths-based and collaborative. Focus is placed on building networks of support and marking growth through ceremonies and rites of passage. 


Carolyn Mak

Carolyn Mak is the Director of Knowledge Mobilization and Program Development. She holds a Masters of Social Work, and brings years of experience as a school social worker and individual counsellor in children’s mental health and family service agencies. Besides working directly... Read More →
avatar for Gerald Jacobs

Gerald Jacobs

Program Manager, Mamelani Projects
Gerald Jacobs is the Program Manager at Mamelani Projects in Cape Town, South Africa. The program, advocates for the needs of youth transitioning from alternative care, supports local institutions by strengthening their transitional support services and walks alongside youth as they... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer First

Jennifer First

Mental Health Program Manager, Disaster and Community Crisis Center
Jennifer First, MA, MSW is the Mental Health Program Manager for the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri. Her clinical experience includes providing services for families and children experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, sexual assault... Read More →

Madelyn Labella

Madelyn is a third year graduate student in the joint child development and clinical science program at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow whose interests include intervening to promote healthy... Read More →

Myrna McNitt

International Foster Care Organization & Lake Michigan College
Myrna is on the Board of the International Foster Care Organization and chairs its Training & Development Committee. She travels extensively and has earned an international reputation for the quality of her teaching and training. Work experience includes specialized foster care in... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Fairchild

Rebecca Fairchild

Registered Music Therapist; PhD Candidate, Bethany; The University of Melbourne
Rebecca Fairchild is a Registered Music Therapist from Australia. She works part time as a music therapy group facilitator at Bethany, supporting children and families living in crisis due to homelessness and family violence. Rebecca is a PhD candidate at The University of Melbourne... Read More →


Kathleen Kufeldt

Adjunct Professor at University of New BrunswickKathleen has worked in a children's residence, front line child protection, fostered teenagers, and has an international reputation for foster care research. Academic positions include Assistant Deanship in the Faculty of Social Work... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Seminar 7 A&A Lower Floor, King's College


Mental Health & Therapy -Lynne Scrimgeour, Francine Julien-Gauthier, Sharon McCloskey, Josh Cameron, Sarah Henderson, Eva Adriana Wilson
Mental Health & Therapy:

Abstract # 18
Building Resilience For Adults With Mental Health Problems
Presenter: Josh Cameron Co - Presenters: Mair Reardon
This presentation reports on the design, implementation and research evaluation of a co-created resilience building programme for adults with mental health problems. The programme comprises 8 weekly sessions developed by a partnership of a peer trainer, a mental health practitioner and an academic. Peer trainers are people with lived experience of mental health problems who are have been recruited and are supported by the local Recovery College which is an established initiative involving a partnership of the health service providers and service user organisations. 
The programme content drew on an adapted version of the Resilience Framework (Hart et al 2007) and a range of other resilience tools and models alongside the personal, practice and research expertise of the facilitators. It aimed to increase participants’ resilience to respond on an individual and collective basis to the adversities they face using internal and external resources and supports. The project is one site of a wider multi-national UK research council funded project which aims to explore the potential for community university partnerships to make better and more resilient collective futures.  It also aims to develop resilience theory and practice particularly as they apply to communities and the potential to challenge sources of adversity.

Abstract # 21
Using Resilient Therapy In Practice: Family-Based Resilience Interventions
Presenter: Sarah Henderson
Newport Mind and boingboing have been researching the use of Resilient Therapy over 18 months. We have been measuring and evaluating the resilience framework and its effectiveness in our work with young people and families in the community of Newport. With a focus on mental wellbeing, the resilience framework has been applied to practice with families utilising an action research approach. All aspects of resilience theory and practice has been, and continues to be, explored during the day to day practice of the team, shaping the support provision for families who experience complex adversity, alongside dealing with mental health problems. The framework has been adapted to include a holistic view of resilience within a family unit, highlighting the importance of group dynamics and relationships for the promotion and sustainability of resilience. Key input of families has enabled our practice to focus on the operational challenges that families face on a day to day basis. ‘By designing the services that met the needs of our son and us as his parents, were invaluable. This service is a need’ - a parent of a young person experiencing low mood/ self-esteem. Families highlighted the ease of use of the framework due to its design; however highlight the need for adaptation of the terminology for use as a family unit. The partnership provides opportunities for practitioners to focus support provision on theory based interventions that develop resilience in family units.

Abstract # 29
A Framework helping people move from Helpless to Healthy
Presenter: Dr. Eva Adriana Wilson
We are biologically designed to be healthy and we are self-correcting by nature.  The only way we have to tell us if we are on track or off track is through negative feedback. 
If we don’t eat for many hours, we get a stomach-ache, and if we ignore it…it gets worse. If we step on a nail...it hurts, and if we ignore it, it gets worse and maybe even life threatening. 
It is the same with our emotional life…We get anxious when interacting with someone who is mistreating us as a way to signal that something is not ok and take action to be healthy and safe again.
If we learned to ignore our strong and healthy self, it turns into Anxiety, Depression, or unhealthy coping (ie. Eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, cutting, etc).
When this happens, we get stuck focusing on the unhealthy coping as the problem. Sometimes we need medication to help us do the work, but medication alone won’t make us happy if we don’t address the situation that is causing the distress.
It is by focusing on this framework we can help people move from HELPLESS to HEALTHY, from PANIC to PRODUCTIVITY.  

Abstract # 27
Balancing Risk and Responsibility: The Fulcrum for Resilience in Children with Autism
Presenter: Lynne Scrimgeour 
For families parenting a child with Autism, especially when the diagnosis co-occurs with mental health disorders, it can be challenging to balance the level of risk and responsibility that researchers and professionals believe can strengthen resilience. However, successful outcomes in goals targeting 'responsibility' have been a platform for families to consider goals that may involve a higher level of 'risk'. Increasing the student's level of responsibility in areas of daily living, communication, socialisation and learning requires skills in planning, flexible thinking and self-control. We understand that children are not born with broad executive functioning and self-regulation skills. We also acknowledge that children with Autism can have specific challenges in these areas which in turn have implications for resiliency. For students with Autism, being able to complete tasks more independently builds self-identity. This knowledge of self sends a powerful message to others. If we explicitly link the achievement of small yet defined roles and levels of responsibility to resilience, this has the potential to increase family and teacher engagement in therapeutic goals. We need to continue the conversation around dignity of risk so that families and students can advocate for future services that centre on the capacity of the whole person.

Abstract # 48
Strategies To Develop And Consolidate Resilience For People With Intellectual Disabilities
Presenter: Francine Julien-Gauthier Co - Presenters: Sarah Martin-Roy, Colette Jourdan-Ionescu
Resilience is the ability to deal with a condition or a particular context and to consider the future with confidence and positiveness. For people with intellectual disabilities, resilience is to present the best possible development adressing specific adversities that are encountered in order to aim well-being and a full social integration (Jourdan-Ionescu & Julien-Gauthier, 2011). This paper’s intention is to identify factors that promote resilience for people with intellectual disabilities as well as strategies to facilitate its development and consolidation. The study is based on the theoretical framework of assisted resilience, which favors a support intervention focused on strengthening the capacity of people with real support, responsive to their aspirations and needs. The instrument used to assess resilience is The Resilience Scale (Wagnild & Young, 1993, adapted by Julien-Gauthier, Jourdan-Ionescu & Ruel, 2013). The results identify five elements that promote, facilitate and strengthen resilience for people with intellectual disabilities. Strategies are proposed: adapting one’s educational intervention plan (EIP) and improving the communication and interaction of the individual with the environment and its community members.

Abstract # 51
Growing Resilience In Parents Of Children With Complex Health Needs: The Development And Testing Of A Structured Support Programme
Presenter: Sharon McCloskey
Caring for children with complex healthcare needs places parents under additional strains compared to other parents with regard to their physical and emotional health, relationships and economic welfare.  Yet great variation exists in how parents and families facing similar circumstances cope, with some exhibiting negative consequences of caring while others cope well and thrive. How families cope is linked to resilience. Research confirms the potential for resilience to be enhanced and group based interventions are one approach through which this may be promoted.  Through this facilitated discussion I will outline the work undertaken to develop a programme with this group of parents (phase 1 of a 2 part study).  A pragmatic research design was applied with adherence to the main principles and social justice goals of transformative research.  The programme was developed through an iterative series of workshops and focus groups with parents which explored the demands they experience, what helps them to cope and what they would consider helpful in a programme.  Their views have been linked with existing theory and research outcomes to develop a programme which takes account of the research evidence but has been shaped by the population it seeks to help. It will be tested in phase 2.

avatar for Eva Adriana Wilson

Eva Adriana Wilson

Psychiatrist and Director, Inspired Living Medical
Dr. Wilson runs an innovative Psychiatric practice that promotes wellness, not just the absence of disease ,through coaching people to listen to their strong and healthy self and empowering them to live their values. She works with youth and adults and has also published a children's... Read More →
avatar for Francine Julien-Gauthier

Francine Julien-Gauthier

Professor in the Education Faculty, Université Laval
Professor at Université Laval, Francine Julien-Gauthier, Ph. D., is professor in the Education Faculty at Université Laval. Regular researcher for Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES), she conducts studies on the education of individuals with... Read More →
avatar for Josh Cameron

Josh Cameron

Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton/BoingBoing
Principal Lecturer at University of BrightonJosh Cameron was an occupational therapist in adult mental health services before becoming a senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Brighton. He became interested in resilience while researching return-to-work experiences... Read More →
avatar for Lynne Scrimgeour

Lynne Scrimgeour

Speech Pathologist Team Leader, Autism Association of Western Australia
Lynne Scrimgeour is a Speech Pathologist with over 30 years experience across health, education, community, private practice and disability sectors. Lynne is currently employed at a large non-government Autism-specific organisation as a Senior Speech Pathologist. She is responsible... Read More →

Sarah Henderson

Sarah Henderson is a Family Wellbeing and Resilience Worker at the mental health charity Newport Mind, in partnership with the University of Brighton and the Families First government initiative in Newport, South Wales. She graduated with a BSc Psychology degree in 2012 and has since... Read More →

Sharon McCloskey

Sharon McCloskey is a registered nurse. She has worked in the field of children's palliative care and supported children with complex health needs and their families for 20 years. She is particularly interested in factors that help build resilience in parents and families of children... Read More →


Colette Jourdan-Ionescu

Professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Colette Jourdan-Ionescu, Ph. D. is professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, researcher for the Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES) and the Scientific Council of the Association... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Martin-Roy

Sarah Martin-Roy

Université Laval
Research assistant and student member for Consortium national de recherche sur l’intégration sociale (CNRIS) and Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES). Her research focuses on students (18-21 years old) with intellectual disabilities participation... Read More →

Mair Reardon

Lead Occupational Therapist Education & Training, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Mair Reardon is the Lead Occuational Therapist for Education and Training at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked predominately in adult mental health services. Her interest in resilience stems from seeing the impact an individual’s resilience has on their recovery... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
ScotiaBank Room NAB 3rd Floor, King's College


Mental Health & Youth Voices -Lisa Evanoff, Kelli Sirianni, Danielle Root, Petro Erasmus, Ria Schroder, Linda Liebenberg
Mental Health & Youth Voices:

Abstract #3
Mobilizing the Power of Community In Nunavut to Protect from Suicide
Presenter: Lisa Evanoff
This session will look at how the Canadian Red Cross is working with a territorial partner, the Embrace Life Council, to reduce suicide by mobilizing communities through prevention education. This unique partnership funded by the Government of Nunavut aims to provide community  training and action planning; vital violence prevention training at the school and community level and cultural specific workshops to link traditions and modern realities. Using a framework called Ten Steps to Creating Safe Environments for Children and Youth, the outcome is a community-owned plan that is driven and implemented by communities. From there adults and children and youth are trained in all aspects of violence prevention. To date 10 of the 26 communities have taken the training.

Abstract # 13
Project BLAST: Breaking Barriers, Loving Yourself, Accepting Others, Similarities not Differences and Totally Inclusive Experience
Presenter: Kelli Sirianni
This research focuses on the one-day event, Project BLAST, and its intrinsic and extrinsic impact on student and adult participants. BLAST stands for: breaking barriers, loving yourself, accepting others, similarities not differences, and totally inclusive experience. Using small and large group activities, BLAST is a transformational day and described by many as ‘an eye-opening experience’. Its philosophy is that when one feels accepted, capable and competent, they are able to develop, positively adapt and to feel and be resilient. Resilience is crucial to one’s ability to develop into a socially competent citizen, and for this reason, must be incorporated as an element of character education. Education must target all aspects of the student, including the academic, personal and social self. Former adult participants were interviewed on the impact this event has had on them as adults, including short and long term implications, as well as its perceptive impact on students. Evaluative feedback forms collected from student participants after each event were incorporated into the qualitative thematic data analysis in drawing conclusions. Findings indicate BLAST as having an impact on resilience and sense of belonging as well as on the presence of respect, empathy, support and compassion/acceptance, among its student and adult participants. 

Abstract # 56
What Healthy Attachments Mean To Aboriginals
Presenter: Danielle Root 
Aboriginal populations are too often studied for what is "wrong" with them.  Initially, my research interest entailed finding ways to foster healthy attachments between young Aboriginal mothers and their young children in the "critical age range" (0-33 months).  I thought about ways in which we can help decolonize some of the learned, unhealthy parenting practices as a result of colonization.  Although this is still my ultimate research goal, I have learned that there is a gap in what is known to be "healthy attachments" in the context of Aboriginals.  Therefore, instead of going with what traditional attachment theories suggest as being "healthy" attachments, I must first give self-determination back to those with whom I wish to help foster those healthy attachments; the young Aboriginal mothers.   By first asking the question of what attachment means to them, I will have a better understanding of how to help foster it.  While it is important that we not ignore the negative effects that colonization has had, and continues to have on our people, I believe that focusing on our strengths is the most critical step in the process of decolonization.

Abtsract # 41
Eliciting The Life Story When Working With Adolescents: Introducing The Fortune Teller As A New Creative Technique
Presenter: Petro Erasmus
This paper aims to introduce a new and innovative technique for eliciting the life story when working with adolescents.  The fortune teller is a paper folding technique that has been part of play in various cultures. This paper folding technique has been adapted by the author as a creative tool for use in therapautic settings when working with adolescents to elicit their life story. This paper will exlain the rationale for using this technique in individual therapy and counselling ‘settings to elicite the life story and help the adolescent to explore their life stories.  The information obtained through this techniques offers the therapist insight into the emotional well-being of the adolescent by focusing on life themes, self-concept,  identities, self-talk, coping mechanims, traumas and hope (dreams and aspirations).  It contributes to facilitating understanding for the adolescent of their ego states and thought processes.  This technique contributes to establishing the therapeutic trust relationship in the first session and it can be used in individual and group settings in working with children who experiences trauma such as divorce, bullying, bereavement. The adolescent becomes an active participant in planning the therapeutic sessions as this technique allows them to understand the aims of therapy and  reduces resistance to therapy.

Abstract # 57
Building Resilience – Including The Voice Of Youth In Research: Managing The Ethical Dilemmas
Presenter: Ria Schroder Co - Presenters: Linda Liebenberg
Including youth voices in research is not only fundamental to promoting youth resilience by providing genuine opportunities for participation and empowerment, it is also fundamental to research concerned with understanding youth related issues.  Conducting research that includes a diverse range of youth participants, and incorporates use of youth friendly technologies for data collection offers an exciting opportunity for many researchers.  These possibilities become even more exciting when youth are included as part of the project team.  These same possibilities can also become extremely challenging, even to the point of abandonment, when such projects come before ethical review committees.  In this presentation we will highlight i) some of the dilemmas that are perceived by ethical review committees to exist around “youth friendly research” and, ii) the barriers these assumptions create for including youth in research.  We will also reflect on the ethical dilemma these assumptions pose in terms of reducing/eliminating youth voices from research where they are essential.  Strategies for working with ethical review committees to manage these dilemmas will be discussed.

Abstract # 62
Meaningfully Engaging Youth In Research And Evaluation
Presenter: Linda Liebenberg
This facilitated discussion will present core lessons gained from experiences of youth participants and researchers engaged in several research projects internationally. Specifically, we will present key points to elicit discussion around the following three questions: 1. Why should we engage youth meaningfully in research and evaluation? 2. How do we engage youth meaningfully in research/evaluation and dissemination of findings?3. How are community partners (including youth participants) working with researchers to protect the best interests of youth in the research/evaluation process?The focus will be on research and evaluation with youth living in challenging socioeconomically marginalised contexts. The goal of Understanding meaningful engagement is to facilitate connection and knowledge sharing between a diverse group of actors engaged in research (i.e. researchers, community-partners, and youth research participants); and to generate new knowledge about how to meaningfully engage youth in research and evaluation so as to reverse the flow of knowledge from marginalised and often silenced youth to adults in positions of decision-making power.

avatar for Danielle Root

Danielle Root

Danielle Root is from Listuguj First Nation, Quebec. In the year 2000, she came to Halifax, Nova Scotia and completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology at Saint Mary's University. Since coming to Halifax, Danielle has been actively involved in the Aboriginal community in... Read More →

Kelli Sirianni

Kelli Sirianni has received her B.A.[H], B.Ed and M.Ed with thesis from the University of Windsor. Her research interests include the building of resilience, sense of belonging and an overall positive school climate, specifically through an event she has run for four years in local... Read More →
avatar for Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg, PhD., Co-Director Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, is a researcher and evaluator with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal... Read More →
avatar for Petro Erasmus

Petro Erasmus

Senior Lecturer, North West University
I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the North West University where I teach Developmental Psychology and Positive Psychology and I am the coordinator of the Honors course. I also have a private practice which is called the Child and Family Guidance and Development... Read More →

Ria Schroder

Ria Schroder (PhD) completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2004 and since that time has been an active member of the Collaborative team. In September 2012 Ria was employed as the Research Manager for the Collaborative. She is also a Research Fellow at the... Read More →

avatar for Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg, PhD., Co-Director Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, is a researcher and evaluator with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
KTS Lecture Hall NAB 2nd Floor, King's College


Policing, Policy & Advocacy -Nancy Ross, Megan Longley, John Yee, Ericka Kimball, Yvonne Vissing
Policing, Policy & Advocacy:

Abstract # 30
The Bridgewater Police:  Innovative Collaborators Supporting Individuals In Challenging Contexts
Presenter: Nancy Ross Co-presenters: Sue Bookchin, John W. Collyer
Throughout the collaborative community response initiated by the ‘Be the Peace, Make a Change’ project to reduce interpersonal violence in Lunenburg County, the Bridgewater Police have been key stake-holders.   The coordinators of this project, funded by the Status for Women Canada for three years, hope the initiatives started will be sustained beyond the project funding, by community partnerships. The Bridgewater Police have been innovative partners.  For example, leadership of the ongoing development of the Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) has been transferred to the Bridgewater Police Chief, John Collier. The ongoing participation of the Police in this project, along with other community partnerships has resulted in new and innovative models that will increase both the resiliency of the community and support pathways to resiliency of individuals. Bridgewater Police are also key stakeholders in the Municipal Alcohol Project that aims to both prevent and respond better to alcohol-related harms.  The Bridgewater Police have also partnered with local women’s organization to improve responses to sexual assault.  Individual Police officers mentor individual youth. This presentation will highlight the ways in which the Bridgewater Police prioritize collaborative engagement in the community that aims to support individuals in challenging contexts.

Abstract # 34
Beyond The Tip Of The Iceberg: A Holistic Approach To Advocating For Youth
Presenter: Megan Longley
Traditionally Nova Scotia Legal Aid has provided representation to youth charged with criminal offenses.  We are now taking a new approach to our representation of youth by looking at how we can address or help with the issues that contributed to the criminal engagement. Any youth in HRM, incluidng those with no criminal law issues, can come to us with any social justice issue and will get to meet with a lawyer for service ranging from summary advice to full service. The areas we are, so far, addressing including school and school board issues, DCS issues, criminal record issues, PPA negotiations, assistance negotiating access to mental health services or housing and DMV appeals. The assistance we provide ranges from informal (call to a principal or grouphome) to formal (representationa t a school board hearing) or anything in between. Often youth need help beyond the legal so we are offering to provide whatever level of help they need navigating or fighting the system they want to access. Many youth we serve do not have adults who can be an available or effective advocate for them when dealing with these problems so we want to help youth have a voice when trying to obtain services to which they are entitled. I believe this legal aid approach to holistic youth social justice and criminal law is unique in this province and possibly in the country and we are excited to share what we are doing.

Abstract # 65
Coming Up For Air
Presenter: John Yee
Instead of examining resilience by conducting a random sample to represent a specific population, I am proposing to examine another feature of resilience from members in a specific group. I am also a member of this group: a trauma response unit. We attend to trauma experienced by law enforcement officers. There are about 80 members in this group, and we are on call on an average of one week per month. 
We know what to say when we attend to others who are faced with stressful incidences that affect their ability to function in their normal day to day activities. But what if we are affected ourselves by stressful incidences? Do we know what to do? How would we handle it? This paper examines some of the common ways we pull ourselves out of a rut.    
My method of research: qualitative analysis, survey, and brief follow-up interview by email to elaborate on established themes or patterns arrived at from the survey.

Abstract # 33
A Place At The Table:  Incorporating Voices And Perspectives Of Those Who Experienced Domestic Violence In Childhood
Presenter: Ericka Kimball 
For more than 30 years the movement to end domestic violence has focused on increasing safety, freedom, and autonomy for victims and their children. Over that time, our understanding of children’s experiences of domestic violence has evolved significantly. Initially, programs responded to children as “secondary victims” and provided services exclusively to the abused parent based on the fair assumption that increasing safety and well-being would also increase the safety and well-being of children. Soon, with new research on the impact of “witnessing” domestic violence, programs began to respond to children’s needs directly – offering separate services that addressed safety planning, processing complex feelings, and promoting strengths. Now we are on the cusp of a second wave of the movement – one where those who experienced domestic violence as children are now adults who are making a place in the social justice arena. The AEDVC Leadership Forum is emerging as leaders to bring visibility to this experience and to impact new directions for policy, service provision, and advocacy on behalf of children exposed to domestic violence. In this facilitated discussion, we want to explore key strategies for incorporating the voices and perspectives of children exposed to domestic violence in understanding resilience.

Abstract # 36
Resiliency And Rights: A Conceptual Model
Presenter: Yvonne Vissing 
This paper explores the relationship between resiliency and the presence of community support for child rights.  The United Nations (UN) created the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 25 years ago and it has become the most endorsed human rights act in the world.  Only two UN countries (Somalia and the USA) have not signed, ratified and implemented the UNCRC. Research with international child scholars in the United Kingdom and Ireland has led to my speaking at the UNCRC’s 25th anniversary in Amsterdam this fall.  A mixed-methods design has been employed to analyze about the relationship between child rights and resiliency.  I have created a theoretical model that explores the interface between these variables that proposes resiliency is heightened when there are formalized legal mandates that support child rights.  While resiliency in children may be possible for those in countries where there are few child protection laws, the lack of community support, resource and infrastructure makes it much more challenging.  The position of this paper is that supporting child rights is directly correlated with higher well-being, empowerment and resiliency for children and youth.


Ericka Kimball

Ericka Kimball, PhD, LISW is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University in Portland, OR. In addition to conducting research in the area of child exposure to domestic violence, she is a founding member of the Adults who Experience Domestic Violence in Childhood Leadership... Read More →

John Yee

I am a doctoral candidate at University of Liverpool, England. I completed my post master’s in counselling psychology at Athabasca University, Canada. For the last 15 years, my research is in the realm of neurology and optometry. I have published six peer reviewed papers on this... Read More →
avatar for Megan Longley

Megan Longley

Managing Lawyer Youth Justice, Nova Scotia Legal Aid - Youth Justice Office
I was called to the bar in 1995 and have worked with Nova Scotia Legal Aid since 1999. The bulk of my work has been in youth criminal law, and I became manager of the Youth Office in 2011. I have recently started working with youth beyond criminal justice in areas of social justice... Read More →

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross, Assistant Professor, Dalhousie School of Social Work for the past two years, has, to date, spent the majority of her working life in addiction and mental health settings. Her work with women led her to believe that the personal is connected to the political and to her... Read More →

Yvonne Vissing

Yvonne Vissing, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at Salem State University where she is the founding director of their Center for Childhood & Youth Studies. Author of six books, she is a former National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Whiting Foundation Fellow... Read More →


Sue Bookchin

Co-Coordinator at Be the Peace Project Sue has been a facilitator, trainer and coach for over 20 years. In all her work, it is particularly rewarding when people recognize something in one another they can connect with. When there is excitement in pursuing what we care deeply about... Read More →

John Collyer

Chief of Police at Bridgewater Police Department John Collyer, Chief of the Bridgewater Police Department, received the Minster’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention. He has been an In School Mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer facilitator for the South... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Shatford Room A&A 2nd Floor, King's College


Resilience in Adverse Settings -Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon, Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo, Julie Tippens, Sofie Vindevogel, Amarnath Amarasingam, Jennifer Bernier
Resilience In Adverse Settings:

Abstract # 9
Undocumented Latino Immigrants: A Story Of Suffering, Strength And Identity.
Presenter: Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon Co - Presenters: Jo Daugherty Bailey
This poster summarizes key findings from a qualitative study about how undocumented Latino immigrants deal with adversity while living in an urban city in the U.S.  Through semi-structured interviews, narratives demonstrated key protective factors prevalent in the community. 
Key facilitators that were helpful during their initial transition into the U.S included getting help in finding a job, knowing someone in the U.S before immigrating, being connected to support networks, and receiving support from others who shared their struggles. The obstacles they continuously face are language barriers, limited education and unfair work wages. At the same time, another common theme reveals how they transform suffering using personal strengths and drawing on support from close-knit communities.  Through it all, they shared that they maintained an identity of seemingly having two lives one originating in Mexico and the other of their current residence in the US.
Recommendations for social work practice include using a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach and a strengths perspective with narratives.  Participants described a three-tiered community network suggesting distinctions from a close-knit network outward to general Latino-based support and further out to a community resident network including teachers and medical doctors. 

Abstract # 38
Resilience of Bataknese, Minangnese, And Sundanese Youth Migrants Who Study In Bandung.
Presenter: Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo Co - Presenters: Fons van de Vijver
The aim of this study is to get the new concepts on resilience which is emic and specific in the context of Indonesian culture on three ethnic groups (Bataknese, Minangnese and Sundanese). It is also aims to test the effect of value system and cultural value of migration on resilience. Bataknese have a value system that strongly supports members to leave the area to study. Core to this value system are characteristics like being persistent and diligent, and willing to try and work hard. This study tested a new model of resilience in the context of migration. More specifically, the model postulates that the value system vis-à-vis migration other vales, and social support have an influence on self-esteem, which in turn influences resilience, which in turn influences well-being. Data were collected through questionnaires to 712 respondents who were selected by random cluster sampling technique. The data were statistically analyzed by SEM using Lisrel. Self-esteem plays an important role as a mediating variable to help youth migrants to have resilience. Social support explained the important role of social environment and helped the youth migrants building their self-worth. Social life values helped youth migrants to build their self-esteem, so that they are able to have resilience. Resilience determined satisfaction with life in youth migrants. Culture affected psychological factors in youth migrants, such as value system, cultural value, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life. Cultural values affected resilience through those psychological factors.

Abstract # 60
Do Survival Mechanisms Equal Resilience?  The Case Of The Banyamulenge Church Raid In Nairobi, Kenya.
Presenter: Julie Tippens
In times of extreme chaos, can survival be classified as a form of resilience? The goal of this segment is to explore the relationships that exist among “chaos narratives,” resilience-fostering techniques and psychosocial health outcomes in situations of distress. 
This conversation is framed using the example of a May 2014 police raid on ethnic Banyamulenge Congolese refugee church-goers in a low-income neighborhood in Kenya. Those arrested were abused and beaten, and eventually taken to a refugee camp along the Kenya-Somalia border. Several families were cleaved in this particular raid, with more than 200 children separated from their parents or main caregivers 
Based on a subset of in-depth interviews (N=15), group discussions (N=2) and survey research (N=70) with urban Banyamulenge refugees who were affected by this raid, this segment will address survival mechanisms used by individuals, households and the community. Using a social-ecological lens, this conversation will ask questions pertaining to what structures promote and/or foster resilience (and for whom in what contexts), as well as whether survival in and of itself can be classified within a resilience framework.

Abstract # 61
A Relational Approach: Integrating Individualist And Collectivist Perspectives On The Resilience Of War-Affected Children
Presenter: Sofie Vindevogel
This presentation aims to reflect upon the tenets of an individualist and collectivist approach to resilience and to consider the implications of prioritizing individual or collective resilience in policy, research and practice initiatives for children living in (post-)conflict areas. It delineates that an individualist view risks holding individuals accountable for possible difficulties experienced in the aftermath of war, while disregarding the context on which their well-being strongly depends. As such, social issues may be interpreted as individual failures, leaving structural barriers and deficiencies unquestioned. The collectivist tradition, however, lead to underestimating individual efforts, strengths, and self-determination, and result in an overly standardized approach that is supposed to fit all. An understanding of resilience as a manifestation of relational dynamics, linking both individual and collective responses to the challenges of war, helps to counter the limitations of both traditions as it carves out the space for acknowledging individual experiences and efforts as well as the importance of the broader context and collective world. As a consequence, the primary concern is no longer to identify the locus of core resources and support mechanisms, but the understanding of the dynamic interplay of individual and collective responses to the encountered challenges that enable resilience in the face of armed conflict.

Abstract # 63
Barriers To Violent Radicalization: Understanding Pathways To Resilience Among Canadian Youth
Presenter: Amarnath Amarasingam Co - Presenters: Sarah Morgan
As many scholars and policy analysts have made clear, the nature of contemporary terrorism and political violence is evolving. While terrorist violence has indeed been rare in Canada, we are nevertheless not immune from it. Cases like the Air India bombing of 1985, the Toronto 18 plot of 2006, as well as instances of Canadian youth travelling overseas to fight on behalf of foreign groups like Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka are all cause for concern. While it is important to understand what radicalizes youth to the point of violence, it is also important to identify culturally specific and population wide factors that support the engagement of youth without that engagement leading to violence. Our study, based on year-long field research with the Somali community in Toronto and the indigenous population of Northern Ontario, investigates the social ecologies of resilience that prevent violent extremism. Our methodology is equally innovative, building on the use of mixed methods designs and visual methodologies to explore the hidden, unnamed protective processes that are part of young people’s lives when they are exposed to, and resist, violent extremism.

Abstract # 17
I Am BRAVE: Building Resilience Through Anti-Violence Education.
Presenter: Jennifer Bernier
Stop Now & Plan (SNAP®) is an evidence-based, gender specific, cognitive behavioural program for children under the age of 12 who experience significant externalizing behaviours (i.e. oppositional and conduct issues). These behaviours may include bullying or being mean to others, making threats, being physically aggressive towards or hurting others, not listening, missing school, having negative peers associations, and stealing. At the Centre for Building Resilience through Anti-Violence Education (BRAVE), a unique replication of the SNAP® program is offered specifically for girls aged 6-11 years living in the Halifax Regional Municipality to decrease internalizing and externalizing behaviours such as bullying, delinquency, anxiety, and future criminalization. To reach its goals, BRAVE provides a comprehensive set of gender-specific SNAP® services to girls, their families and peers both in the community and schools that address multiple risk factors, build resilience, and promote healthy childhood development. A gender specific approach is essential, as the context of girls’ behavioural concerns with bullying, delinquency, and criminalization can often differ from boys.
The three aspects of our work that we would like to discuss during the facilitated discussion, includes the importance of providing comprehensive, gender-specific, community-based interventions for children...

avatar for Amarnath Amarasingam

Amarnath Amarasingam

Amarnath Amarasingam is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (University of Georgia Press... Read More →
avatar for Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon

Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon

Assistant Professor, MSU Denver
Dr. Mendez-Shannon, MSW is an Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, U.S.A. She served the Harlem community for 10 years in the areas of child welfare, community activism, and immigrant rights. She helped mobilize New York City with disaster relief during... Read More →
avatar for Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo

Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo

Lecturer, Master Program of Professional Psychology Universitas Islam Bandung
Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo is a Chief of Master Program of Professional Psychology in Universitas Islam Bandung, Indonesia. She is interested in cross-cultural psychology studies, especially on resilience, well-being, value systems, and issues on developmental psychology.In 2012, she... Read More →

Jennifer Bernier

Jennifer Bernier, PhD., is the Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Building Resilience through Anti-Violence Education (BRAVE). Jennifer provides leadership to achieve BRAVE’s commitments to address bullying, delinquency and criminalization among girls aged 6-11 with... Read More →
avatar for Julie Tippens

Julie Tippens

Julie A. Tippens, MA, MPH is a doctor of public health candidate at the University of Arizona, where she is also pursuing a doctoral minor and graduate certificate in medical anthropology. Her research lends anthropological insight into issues of forced migration and refugee psychosocial... Read More →

Sofie Vindevogel

Ghent University
Sofie Vindevogel works as post-doctoral assistant at the Department of Special Education at Ghent University and is affiliated to the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations. She obtained her PhD in Educational Sciences with a dissertation on former child soldiers in northern... Read More →


Jo Daugherty Bailey

Associate Professor and the MSW Program Director at Metropolitan State University of Denver Jo Daugherty Bailey, Ph.D., MSW is Associate Professor and the MSW Program Director at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Bailey has taught across the curriculum in both sociology... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Site Researcher 
avatar for Fons van de Vijver

Fons van de Vijver

Professor at Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands Fons van de Vijver holds a chair in cross-cultural psychology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands and an extraordinary chair at North-West University, South Africa, and the University of... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Boardroom A&A 2nd Floor, King's College