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Worker Wellness in Complicated Times: Grief, Self-Care, and Collective Care


Worker Wellness in Complicated Times: Grief, Self-Care, and Collective Care

Premium QoC Workshop Series



Part One: Friday, May 7, 2021 | 12:00-2:00 PM EST
Part Two: Friday, May 14, 2021 | 12:00-2:00 PM EST
Part Three: Friday, May 21, 2021 | 12:00-2:00 PM EST
Part Four: Friday, May 28, 2021 | 12:00-2:00 PM EST


Hosted via Zoom. Participants will be able to attend online or call-in over the phone.

Course Description

Noticing, Naming, and Navigating This New Reality
How are you doing—really? What supports you in this time? What else do you need? What more could your agency be considering as things move forward?

For workers in this sector, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged when agencies were already responding to the complex front lines in the work with HIV, Hep, and Harm Reduction: individual and systemic oppression and marginalization, physical and mental health, homelessness, poverty, violence and racism, etc. Our organizations have sustained their advocacy, care, and support for many years now. It is a tough, resilient sector with dynamic, creative workers. That resilience and creativity serve as a foundation for how we, as individuals and organizations, are managing this new crisis of COVID-19.

However resilient we may be, experiencing a new epidemic can result in increased fear, anxiety, and stress in ourselves and in the communities we serve. Along with overwhelming uncertainty and new behavioural ‘norms’ (e.g. mask-wearing, physical distancing), responses to COVID-19 have changed how we meet our daily needs, how we socially interact, and whether, how, and where we work. Some workers have lost their jobs. Some workers have continued to report to a physical workplace, while others have transitioned to working remotely, and for many, the demands of work have changed or intensified. In addition, we have families to care for, children to attend to, aging parents to be worried about, and our own health issues to manage. The nature of each situation is unique, but undoubtedly some of these changes driven by the pandemic are contributing to increasing levels of psychological and occupational stress.


  • To deepen awareness of the impact of the current COVID-19 epidemic, alongside current losses and challenges in this work—within ourselves as workers, and in our teams and agencies as a whole.
  • To better understand the range of diverse responses to COVID-19 as one aspect of our understanding of complex ongoing grief and loss.
  • To come away with a theoretical framework for multiple loss impact in marginalized communities and community agencies.
  • To investigate current coping strategies and strategies of resilience that emerge when people are faced with ongoing crisis and loss events.
  • To provide examples of effective Impact Debriefing techniques and psychological “First AID Tools” developed for use in emotional distress related to COVID-19 and applicable to a wider range of situations.

The Sessions Will

  • Be delivered in four parts as interactive online workshops via Zoom.
  • Create space for individuals to notice and name their current realities and assess needs for moving forward.
  • Offer concrete tools and supports that individuals can incorporate into their practice.
  • Develop recommendations for team leaders and management to consider as workplace practices evolve.

Participant Testimonials

“An absolutely excellent series of workshops! Really enjoyed the content and the collaborative approach to workshopping amongst each other…Considering the Zoom format, this was absolutely amazing. The content was new, fresh and in-depth.”

“This series was an excellent investment of head and heart and time...I thoroughly enjoyed [Yvette’s] facilitation style: down-to-earth, empathic, so very generous with a vision of the future informed by the past.”

“I appreciate Yvette's vulnerability, candour and reflections on her own experience. I also appreciated the various tools that Yvette referenced. I enjoyed the educational components to better understand grief and loss.”


Facilitator Biography

Yvette Perreault
MA Leadership and Training (Royal Roads University); Traumatology Certification (Traumatology Institute of Canada); member Association of Death Education and Counselling Thanatology Association; member International Association of Facilitators (IAF); Former Director AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario. Currently part-time Traumatic Grief Specialist with the Enrichment Centre for Mental Health (Hastings County)
Now retired from her 24-year role as co-creator and Director of the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO), Yvette continues to support the community in a training process, facilitating, and consulting role within the community-based not-for-profit sector. Retirement brings delightful options for work within her new community outside of Toronto, and Yvette has undertaken a part-time role as the Traumatic Grief Specialist with the ECMH in Belleville. Her interest is in building teams with heart and helping people turn to one another in their communities.
Written works include: Impact Debriefing Toolkit for Managers: A Resource For Managers And Supervisors Supporting Individuals And Teams Responding To Traumatic Loss Events, Overdoses, Deaths And Non-Death Losses (2019); Debriefing: Support for Individuals and Teams Responding to Overdoses (2018); Good Grief Care: Effective Debriefing in Multiple Loss Situations Faced by Supportive Housing Providers (2018); When Grief Comes to Work: Managing Grief and Loss in the Workplace (2011); Models of Capacity Building in PHA Community: We are Turning to One Another (2009); The Presence of Absence: Bereavement in long term survivors of multiple AIDS-related loss (2008).
Yvette has been a front-line community organizer and counsellor for nearly four decades. She was co-creator of Project Sustain, a national program that looked at resiliency in the AIDS field. She served as AIDS Support Program Director at the AIDS Committee of Toronto for 8 years and prior to that, worked in the area of violence against women and children. She has Prairie roots, is originally from Saskatoon, and trained as a Psychiatric Nurse in Brandon, Manitoba.


  • Early Bird Ticket for Peterborough-Based Participants: $99.00
  • Regular Ticket for Peterborough-Based Participants: $119.00
  • Regular Ticket for Participants Outside of Peterborough: $139.00


Who should attend this workshop series?
This workshop series is designed specifically for helping professionals. We define "helping professional" as anyone in a position of interacting with people in providing a service.

How many people can attend?
Registration for this workshop series has been capped at 35 participants.

What is a premium QoC workshop series?
This refers to a specialty, by-demand workshop series presented by a facilitator on a topic outside of QoC's area of expertise.

Do I need to attend all of the sessions?
Ideally, you will be able to attend all of the sessions, but you must be able to attend at least three out of the four. Attendees will receive certificates of attendance for participating in a minimum of 3/4 sessions.

Will these sessions be recorded?
No. These sessions will not be recorded in order to maintain the privacy of participants. The session slides, however, will be sent out.

What is your refund policy?
We can offer refunds up to seven days before the first session. Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable. After this period, we can accept substitutions. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Who can I contact with further questions?
If you have an accessibility request or any other questions, please contact the QoC Project Lead at or 705-927-3448.

The cost of this workshop series has been subsidized through a partnership with the Peterborough Drug Strategy and its members. Bursaries are available upon request.

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