Survive to Thrive Workshops


Trauma informed conference May 7th 2015 (word)May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month.

SACHA is helping to organizing a conference about trauma informed support on May 7th – Survive to Thrive.

For all the details about registering and location click here.

Here’s more information about what the day will look like:

Morning – 8:45am-12pm
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lori Haskell
Followed by Melissa’s story

Lunch – 12pm-1pm Afternoon – 1pm-4pm

Breakout sessions.
Each breakout session will have a collaborative focus. The sessions will be interactive, participatory, and discussion based with an opportunity for sharing information across the Developmental Services and Violence Against Women sectors. Conference participants will have an opportunity to attend one of the following three hour sessions. Participation in each session will be on a first come first served basis on the day of the conference.

Session 1: Session 1 will feature two workshops happening one after the other.

Welcoming Women with Intellectual Disabilities into Our Shelters

Come to this interactive and participatory workshop to explore how women with intellectual disabilities experience abuse and trauma. We will have a chance to un-pack some of the key aspects of shelter living, by using a trauma-informed and anti-oppression lens. By exploring the various ways women with labels experience abuse, we will be better able to provide the support they need.

Presenter – Vania Sukola, Violence Against Women Counsellor at Family Services Toronto

Crisis Connections : The journey of Creating a Joint Partnership
We will introduce the challenges faced in bringing two differently funded sectors together to support individual with dual diagnosis in a crisis centre. The partnership grew out of an attempt to serve clients whose needs are often complex and diverse. We will speak to the process of how we began to understand the importance of cross sectorial relationships designed to deliver collaborative care.

Presenters – Lisa Whittingham, Behaviour Consultant at Hamilton Brant Behaviour Services and Tracy Miles, Clinical Supervisor at Barret Centre

Session 2: Strategies and Tools for Helping People to Manage Daily Trauma Symptoms
Presenters – Jodie Petkovich, Behaviour Consultant at Hamilton Brant Behaviour Services & Angela Hevey, Social Worker at Twin Lakes

Session 3: Listening to Disclosures of Sexual Assault
Most survivors of sexual violence never tell a professional service about the abuse. It is important that as service providers we know how to and are prepared to respond.

Participants in this participatory discussion-based workshop will learn:

  • Non-judgmental ways to respond to disclosures of violence
  • Trauma informed support strategies
  • How to confront myths that exist about rape, abuse, incest and sexual assault
  • Canadian sexual assault laws
  • What survivors look for in a support person
  • Common responses to sexual violence
  • Resources for survivors in the Hamilton community

Presenter – Erin Crickett, Public Education Coordinator at SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton & Area)

There will be a silent auction featuring the art contributed for the conference’s poster. All proceeds from the art auction will be given to the artist.

Survive to Thrive is presented by the Southern Network of Specialized Care, Family Counselling Centre of Brant, Twin Lakes Clinical Services, and SACHA.

Presenter Bios:

Dr. Lori Haskell Dr. Lori Haskell is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Dr. Haskell’s clinical interests include trauma, revictimization, sexual abuse and sexual violence in relation to psychological development. She has a status appointment as an assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Toronto and is an academic research associate with the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. Dr. Haskell’s research work has focused on victimization and its effects, violence prevention, and trauma and psychological development. She is currently working on projects addressing the impact of trauma on Aboriginal peoples, trauma and the service challenges for developmentally disabled people, and restorative justice and gendered violence.

Jodie Petkovich BA. CCW Jodie has worked in developmental services for twenty years; she works at Hamilton Brant Behaviour Services as a behaviour consultant. Jodie currently facilitates the Resiliency group which is based on the Interactive Behaviour Therapy Model (IBT, Daniel Tomasulo). She is an active member of the Southern Network of Specialized Care Trauma Initiative providing information and training to community partners in an effort to increase capacity to better support people with developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma. Her educational background includes a degree from Brock University (BA) and a diploma from Algonquin College (Child and Youth Worker).

Angela Hevey
Angela works as a social worker at Twin Lakes Clinical Services providing counselling to individuals with a dual diagnosis. She is passionate about working from a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, person-centered framework. She is an active member of the Southern Network of Specialized Care Trauma Initiative providing information and training to community partners in an effort to increase capacity to support individuals with developmental disabilities and dual diagnosis who have experienced trauma. Her past work experience includes working in youth shelters and with children in foster care.

Vania Sukola Vania Sukola has been in the field of Violence Against Women (VAW) for the past 15 years. For the last 9 years, Vania has been an Abuse Counsellor at Family Service Toronto, where she been the Lead Counsellor working with women who are labelled with intellectual disabilities who have been abused. By combining her use of Feminist Counselling, Narrative Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy tools, vania works from a trauma-informed place. Prior to this current role, Vania has worked in various abused women crisis lines (namely Assaulted Women’s Helpline) and shelters here in Toronto, in Kitchener, and overseas. As Vania sees links to VAW issues and various forms of oppression, she acted as a facilitator for OAITH (Ontario Association for Interval and Transition Houses) when a pilot project was given implementing Feminist Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression Training to staff at Toronto abused women shelters. Vania also was a Personal Support Worker (PSW) for a woman who acquired a brain injury as a child, and has been a group counsellor for young women and children with intellectual disabilities. Vania is very passionate and dedicated to working towards a violent-free life for all women and children. So, as a mother to two young children, being able to share this passion with others is especially rewarding and encouraging that change can happen.

Tracy Miles is currently the Clinical Supervisor working with the Barrett Centre for Crisis Support. Tracy has worked in Mental Health and Addictions field for over 24 years.

Lisa Whittingham is currently a Behaviour Consultant working at Hamilton Brant Behaviour Services. She has 10 experience working with adults with intellectual disabilities.

Erin Crickett
Erin Crickett is an intersectional feminist who has been working in the gender justice movement for over ten years and proudly works at SACHA as their Public Educator.  She is passionate about experiential education and approaching social change work with both a sense of urgency as well as a sense of humour. Crickett brings her experience as a scientist, tall ship sailor, environmental educator, baker, migrant labour advocate, shelter worker, dog sledder, farm hand, and roller derby skater to her work as an educator.


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