Tell It Like It Is: A Compassionate Approach to Comprehensive Sexual Education

In a world that sometimes tiptoes around important topics, Tell It Like It Is stands boldly as a revolutionary program. It’s not just sex-positive; it’s inclusive, comprehensive, and unapologetically honest. This program is on a mission to empower diverse learners, guiding them to make informed life choices that promote optimal health and wellness in all dimensions of life.

This isn’t your typical sex education program. It’s a compassionate journey through crucial life topics, offering a safe space where participants can explore, learn, and grow. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this program so remarkable.

Goals:

Accurate Information: The foremost goal of this program is to ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date sexuality education. In a world where myths and misconceptions abound, this program equips participants with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their lives.

Open and Safe Platform: Beyond just information, the program creates a platform where participants can open up. It’s a place to share stories, ask questions, explore curiosities, express fears, and gain knowledge without judgment or shame. This safe and open environment is a cornerstone of the program’s success.

Curriculum:

Tell It Like It Is consists of nine modules, each covering a range of topics related to sexual health and wellness. These modules are designed to cater to diverse learners, making the program accessible to all. Some of the topics covered include:

Communication Skills: Effective communication is the foundation of healthy relationships. Participants learn how to express themselves, listen actively, and navigate the complexities of human interaction.

Hygiene: Personal hygiene is not just about cleanliness; it’s about self-respect and self-care. This emphasizes the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices for overall well-being, but also as a way to improve relationships and connections with others. 

Building Healthy Relationships: Healthy relationships are an important part of a fulfilling life, and help us to reduce loneliness and isolation. This explores what constitutes a healthy relationship, and how to recognize what an unhealthy relationship looks like. 

Sexual Health: The program also covers life-saving information that is necessary to keep ourselves safe; including consent, abuse prevention, STBBI’s (Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections), private vs public spaces, and much more. It offers a safe and non-judgmental space for participants to learn about their bodies and sexual health.

Tell It Like It Is doesn’t shy away from challenging topics. Instead, it approaches them with empathy and compassion, recognizing that every participant is unique and has their own lived experiences. The program’s interactive learning activities make the experience engaging, ensuring that the knowledge gained is not just theoretical, but practical.

In a world that often stigmatizes conversations about sexuality and disability, Tell It Like It Is recognizes the necessity of these conversations. Everyone has the right to education, relationships, and pleasure, and upholding the rights of people with disabilities is vital. 

So, the next time you hear about Tell It Like It Is, remember that it’s more than just a program; it’s a movement towards a more informed and inclusive world. It’s about breaking down barriers and fostering a culture of openness and acceptance. Tell It Like It Is – because knowledge is power, and everyone deserves to wield it. Learn more about this program here!

2nd Annual Prairie Sexuality and Disability Conference

COR is proud to host the 2nd Annual Prairie Sexuality and Disability Conference, in partnership with Saskatoon Sexual Health and Inclusion Saskatchewan. Join us in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 18-19, 2023.

For more information, visit: https://nevertmi.ca/psdcon/

 

 

An Empathetic Approach to Workplace Wellbeing: Our Interview with Creative Options Regina

An Empathetic Approach to Workplace Wellbeing: Our Interview with Creative Options Regina

Updated: May 1

CMHA Mental Health Week is all about sharing stories. At Headway, we love sharing stories of how others are making strides to improve mental health in the workplace. Throughout the week, we will be sharing best practises from interviews with experts and leaders working to champion mental health in their organizations. We hope it inspires your team to take action!

In our latest blog, we sat down with Casey Sakires from Creative Options Regina (COR) to learn more about their mental health initiatives and how they are creating a culture of balance and wellness by leading with empathy.

 

Founded in 2009, Creative Options Regina (COR) is a for-impact, charitable organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing disabilities. They recognize the unique and often emotionally draining circumstances their employees can work under when caring for vulnerable populations day-to-day, leading them to a “care for the caregiver” approach to employee well-being.

We became familiar with COR as a fellow recipient of a Canadian Workplace Wellness Award for excellence in mental health and wellness initiatives. Through our own Headway initiative, we look to shine a spotlight on businesses championing mental health and share best practices to inspire other leaders to take action. We sat down with Casey Sakires, Employee Experience Advisor with COR, to learn more about his company’s balanced approach to wellness and why open, honest dialogue is key to creating a mentally safe environment.

According to Casey, these are some of the initiatives they’ve seen success with:

Judgment-free debriefs.

If someone has had a challenging day, a judgment-free conversation will help them make peace with the emotions inside. Casey mentioned that team members can debrief with anyone they desire from the CEO to directors to coordinators, all judgment-free. This enables a strong support system so employees will not have to suffer in silence and bottle up their emotions which we know can put a strain on our physical and mental health.

Collaboration with community professionals.

COR understands that stress can come from anywhere and prioritizes caring for the caregiver so that they can provide the best care possible for those they serve. This inspired COR to consult with experts in various areas to focus on the holistic health of their supports. For example, finance experts from CPA Saskatchewan, RBC, CIBC, and Leipert Financial conducted sessions to help ease the financial stress that employees were burdened with. It better equipped the teams with financial know-how, and people made real community connections that lived on beyond the sessions, enabling more trust and rapport.

Enabling personal initiatives.

COR takes it upon itself to facilitate well-being in the workplace and enable employees to fulfill their well-being journeys outside of work. To round out the body element of their holistic approach, COR offers employee discounts on gym memberships, yoga classes, and spin classes in collaboration with local businesses. These are done as a fitness bursary everyone can take advantage of to improve their physical health which we know can help ease mental health struggles as well.

When it comes to new learnings, Casey says the shift from in-person to virtual was a learning experience for their team:

When the pandemic hit and the world became unfamiliar, COR learned to rely on its central purpose to guide them. Their central purpose is to ensure people experience connectedness, companionship, and community. They acted through intentional listening and learning directly from employees to better understand their needs and the needs of their loved ones. Knowing what was uniquely important to each member allowed them to respond meaningfully to best support COR employees as they continued to endure the pandemic. During the pandemic and still today, success to COR is knowing that their workforce feels safe and valued, making psychological safety paramount. And while COR managed to stay connected during the pandemic, their employees are glad to be back to interacting more in-person today, as this improves the impact of their wellbeing initiatives that much more.

We want to thank Casey and Creative Options Regina for sharing the ups and downs of their well-being journey. We hope these learnings will inspire your company to consider new ways of working and create a mentally healthier workplace.

Read the full article here.

Designed to inspire action, our Headway Program helps business leaders take the next step toward creating mentally healthy workplaces. Navigating this complex topic can be tough. Our team can help with resources, tools, and a tailored plan based on your unique needs. Email us at headway@sklarwilton.com.

Sexuality and Disability Conference featured on CTV News Regina

‘Healthy, loving relationships just like the rest of us’: Talking sexuality for those with intellectual disability

Sexuality and Disability Conference 2022

Creative Options Regina, Saskatoon Sexual Health, and Inclusion Saskatchewan are pleased to announce an upcoming conference supporting sexual health and wellness for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their networks.

Date: October 7, 2022

Time: 9-4pm

Location: University of Regina College Ave. Campus

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! (Click to Register)

Space is limited, so register early to secure your spot.

This is an exciting opportunity for support workers, caregivers, family members, community-based organizations, researchers, students, health care professionals, self-advocates, or anyone interested in learning more about sexuality and disability.

 

Proudly supported by the Community Initiatives Fund and the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute!

Constructing Community: A Collaborative Bench Project

Samantha Jones (BA, DTATI-thesis pending)
Regina, SK

From November 2020 to May 2021, a group of individuals embarked on a journey, facilitated by art therapy student Samantha Jones, of creating a bench to be displayed in their community. Group members are part of the Creative Options Regina (COR) community, who embrace the philosophy of gentle teaching when providing support for their members. Individuals collaborated in person and online as changing COVID restrictions repeatedly restructured the project, but still found the space to build community and strengthen connections through creating unique pieces of their art.

Originally published at canadianarttherapy.org

True Clean Solutions and COR: Partnering to Keep the COR Family Safe

How True Clean Solutions helps group homes through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because you can never do too much for the people you care for most.

For Creative Options Regina (COR), that includes staff and residents they work with daily. In fact, they are considered family, which is why Michael Lavis, executive director at COR, took an extra step to ensure their health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With cleanliness and sanitization practices now top of mine, COR enlisted the services of True Clean Solutions to provide an additional layer of disinfection in each of the homes where caregivers and residents interact.

COR provides in-home support through gentle teaching for adults and youth with disabilities and mental health struggles.

“We felt it was important to enhance the safety, the feeling of safety and the cleaning protocols in each of our homes,” Lavis explained. “Disinfecting and sanitization are absolutely critical, particularly during the pandemic. It is our responsibility to do everything that we can to keep our employees and the people we care about safe.”

In doing so, in-home managers and residents gained a greater peace of mind.

True Clean Solutions uses a product that is approved by Health Canada. Its technicians have received thorough instruction on how to safely enter and exit a home or business and they relay that information to clients prior to product application.

“(True Clean Solutions) took the time to explain to us what this product is,” Lavis said. “They walked us through the entire process. They supported our employees by providing them with the necessary information and made sure everyone was comfortable with their work prior to commencing their work.”

Being transparent and forthcoming with information related to the disinfecting process and the products used solidified Lavis’ confidence in proceeding with the service.

“Their level of customer service in helping to ensure that people felt comfortable with the product they were going to be using in their homes was something that really stood out to me,” Lavis said.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be more mindful of cleanliness and personal hygiene and how they affect our overall health.

Visit truecleansolutions.com to learn more about their service and to receive an online quote.

Full Article Available Here.

 

Service Hospitality Presents… Operating During COVID-19 – LIVE Panelist Discussion

Join Service Hospitality on Wednesday, June 3rd 1:00 – 3 pm (CST) for a FREE LIVE Virtual Event on Operating during COVID-19, presented by Service Hospitality!

“We have heard your concerns and struggles about operating during COVID-19. Service Hospitality is bringing together a panelist of industry leaders to share how they have operated their organizations throughout the pandemic. If you are struggling to navigate the uncertainty of returning to work and what comes with operating an organization and employees during COVID-19 you are going to want to tune in!

Our panelists are here to share with you their stories of how they have operated during this time and how they will continue to operate after COVID-19. They will share insights, tools and resources with you on how you can continue to move forward during these uncertain times.” – Service Hospitality


Line up of special guest speakers includes:

 

Liz Horvath, B.A. Sc., CRSP
Manager, Workplace Mental Health
Opening Minds, Mental Health Commission of Canada

https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English

Liz joined the Opening Minds Team of the Mental Health Commission of Canada in August 2019, where she leads the development and delivery of the Workplace Mental Health Program. For nearly 25 years, Liz has been guiding organizations throughout Canada to achieve better business outcomes through the implementation of occupational health and safety management systems.

 


Jim Bence
President & CEO
Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association

www.skhha.com

Jim has a strong passion for safety and brings expert advice to the table, specifically when it comes to the hotel and service industry. He has played a critical role in the establishment and growth of the Hotel Best Practice Group as well as the designation of a Youth Safety Education day in the province. He will discuss more on the hotel industry and the impact it has felt during this time.

 


Kevin Danchuk
Director of Health & Safety
Athabasca Catering Ltd. Partnership

www.athabascacatering.com/

Kevin brings a wealth of experience to setting strategy, driving execution and creating best practices for safety, health, and the environment and quality services. He is truly dedicated to providing a safe workplace for all employees, wherever the location and whatever the job. Kevin will be discussing the challenges of operating during the pandemic as they are considered an essential service and directly support the mining industries up North.

 


Phyllis O’Connor
Executive Director
Canadian Mental Health Association – SK Division

sk.cmha.ca/

Phyllis is the Executive Director at the Canadian Mental Health Association; she has been with CMHA for over 20 years. Phyllis is an advocate for mental health and works towards reducing the stigma that is associated with mental illness and mental health. She will be discussing how COVID-19 has impacted our mental health and shedding light on the emotions and uncertainty that comes with it while providing tools and resources to navigate it.

 


Michael Lavis
Executive Director
Creative Options Regina

creativeoptionsregina.ca/

Michael is an accomplished, passionate leader who puts safety and the care of his employees first. He has extensive experience when it comes to organizational management, capacity building and training. Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. Michael will be discussing how to work and feel safe while providing essential care.

 


Mark Von Schellwitz
Vice President, Western Canada
Restaurants Canada

https://www.restaurantscanada.org/

Mark is a leading expert in the restaurant industry and brings over 20 years of experience forward. He is passionate about the industry he works in and strives to better it through conversation and collaboration. Mark has worked closely with many organizations to help improve the industry and doesn’t believe it stops there. Mark will be discussing safety around take-out and delivery options with restaurants during this time.

 

“As we look towards life after the worst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has passed, business recovery will be paramount. Service Hospitality has put together a Return to Work Plan Guide for Service and Hospitality Industry employers to assist them and their employees in returning to work safely. The guide has been developed to give employers a series of best practices and other necessary measures that will help to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.” – Service Hospitality

Visit Service Hospitality’s website for more information. 

CTV Morning Show: Supporting Our Community Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, our COR family was thrilled to be featured on CTV Morning Live sharing how we are supporting our community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video segment below!

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1953313

2019 Canada’s Healthiest Workplace Month Great Employer

COR is proud to be recognized by Excellence Canada as a 2019 Canada’s Healthiest Workplace Month Great Employer!

 

| Source: Excellence Canada

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Excellence Canada and Canada Life are pleased to announce the 2019 Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employers. These organizations are being celebrated for their planning and actions to foster physically and psychologically safe and healthy workplaces, striving to continually improve across four main areas of focus, namely:

Healthy Lifestyles
This involves helping employees develop and maintain healthy lifestyle practices, eat well, exercise, drop unhealthy or risky habits, and make optimal use of the healthcare system.
Mental Health and Workplace Culture
Culture is created, reinforced and sustained by ongoing patterns of relationships and communications that are known to have an important influence on psychological health and safety. The organizational culture reflects values that support mental health, such as trust, fairness, respect, diversity, inclusion and teamwork.
Physical Environment
Aiming to reduce the risk of fatalities and workplace disabilities, this area of focus involves fully and continually addressing matters of occupational health and safety, including the possible impacts of new technologies, production changes, increasing demands on time, and cost containment measures.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The interrelationship between the community, the workplace and the employee is known to influence employee health and well-being, as well as the health and performance of the organization. CSR activities are often seen as voluntary, going above and beyond what is legislated or required.

This year’s recipients are, in alphabetical order:

AGS Rehab Solutions Inc. Mississauga ON
Alberta Blue Cross Edmonton AB
CHEO Ottawa ON
Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Collingwood ON
Creative Options Regina, Inc. Regina SK
Dryden Regional Health Centre Dryden ON
EHC Global Oshawa ON
Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation Hamilton ON
Hickman Automotive Group St. John’s NL
Lethbridge College Lethbridge AB
London Hunt and Country Club London ON
Natural Resources Canada – CanmetENERGY- Ottawa Nepean ON
Organizational Solutions Inc. Burlington ON
Peel Children’s Aid Society Mississauga ON
Quadrangle Architects Limited Toronto ON
South West Local Health Integration Network London ON
Square Inc Toronto ON
Three Point Capital Kelowna BC
Travel Alberta Calgary AB
University of Guelph Guelph ON
University of Waterloo Waterloo ON
Vancouver Island Brewing Victoria BC
Victoria Airport Authority Sidney BC

Find out what it takes to be a Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employer by visiting https://healthyworkplacemonth.ca/resources/what-does-a-great-employer-look-like/

Next year’s applicants can make their online submissions at www.healthyworkplacemonth.ca beginning August 1, 2020. The deadline to apply is October 31st and the 2020 recipients will be announced on December 7, 2020.

Excellence Canada, an independent not-for-profit organization, would like to thank Canada Life for its generosity and support as the Presenting Sponsor of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month®. Established by Excellence Canada over 20 years ago, Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® is celebrated every October. Our website provides organizations with year-round resources, tools, and knowledge that they need to implement a long-term Healthy Workplace® strategy.

Thank you to all our Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

  • Canada Life

Champion of Excellence

  • Manulife

Supporting Sponsors

  • BestLifeRewarded
  • Civic Action
  • Durham Region
  • SE Health
  • WSIB

About Canada Life

Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits specialist, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. We help Canadians achieve their potential, every day. Our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. We serve the financial security needs of more than 13 million people across Canada and provide a wide range of products and services for individuals, families and business owners.

As an Imagine Caring Company, we support the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada. Our companies contribute at least one per cent of pre-tax profit in support of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. This includes $13.3 million in contributions to non-profit, charitable and community organizations in 2018.

About Excellence Canada

Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that is committed to advancing organizational excellence across Canada. As a national authority on Excellence, Innovation and Wellness®, Healthy Workplace®, and Mental Health at Work® awards, Excellence Canada provides excellence frameworks, standards, and independent verification and certification to organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. It is also the custodian and adjudicator of the Canada Awards for Excellence program, of which the Patron is Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., C.Q., Governor General of Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Jackson
Senior Advisor, Healthy Workplace Strategies
Excellence Canada
1(800) 263-9648 x250
Karen@excellence.ca

“Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month” and “Healthy Workplace” are Registered Trademarks of Excellence Canada