The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency to share learning across care settings, in real time. The need to move quickly to improve support for underserved people, and the people who care for them, is especially critical as existing gaps in health and care widen.
In response, Healthcare Excellence Canada launched a platform to connect emergency shelters and substance use centres so lessons learnt could be shared and to expand the reach of what has worked..
The virtual learning series has now concluded. However, webinar and huddle recordings remain available to anyone interested. The specific topics that are covered are based on feedback and conversations with those who participated in the Learning Together program.
With Dr. Laura Lennox
In this webinar, Laura Lennox introduced the concept of sustainability in the context of sustaining innovative work and gains made during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar built on discussion around the anticipated challenges of pandemic recovery as highlighted in the previous webinar and gave an overview of a sustainability tool that can be used to assess sustainability factors.
With Randalin Ellery, Director of Data Impact and Policy, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and Jean-Louis Denis, Professor, Canada Research Chair on Health System Design and Adaptation School of Public Health, Université de Montréal , Researcher, CRCHUM
In this webinar, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness explored the initial and current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated challenges of pandemic recovery of those working in the homelessness sector. Jean-Louis Denis discussed the concept of change management and offered strategies those working in this sector can use as they encounter the anticipated challenges of pandemic recovery.
With: Deborah Gardner, Executive Director, Street Haven at the Crossroads, Heather Johnston, Executive Director, Projects Autochtones du Québec, and Hélène Philbin Wilkinson, Learning Together Coach
In this webinar, Deborah and Heather shared reflections and lessons learned through the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this discussion, Deborah and Heather highlighted opportunities their organizations had to advance innovative work and how they are working collaboratively with Learning Together Coach, Hélène, to implement innovations particularly related to supporting people in the workforce and infection prevention and control.
With Dr. Bernie Pauly, Professor, Nursing, University of Victoria & Scientist, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research
This huddle focused on building infrastructure for harm reduction in the context of responding to multiple ongoing declared and undeclared public health emergencies including the opioid crisis, housing crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Bernie Pauly discussed a 10-step plan intended to support substance use facilities, supportive housing, and emergency shelters in their efforts to adopt harm reduction practices.
With: Dr. Naheed Dosani
In this webinar, Dr. Naheed Dosani joined us to talk about providing care to those experiencing homelessness. The concept of equitable care was explored through discussion around the gaps between those experiencing homelessness and their ability to access high quality care. Dr. Dosani highlighted strategies the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program uses to support those experiencing homelessness and how these strategies have been adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Centre of Excellence on PTSD - Fardous Hosseiny and MaryAnn Notarianni
This huddle focused on the continuum of moral stressors and associated outcomes, including moral injury, in service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre of Excellence on PTSD discussed using a whole-of-organization approach as a best practice for mitigating the risk of moral injury at the organizational, team, and individual levels.
Speakers: AnnMarie Churchill, PhD, Executive Director, Stepped Care Solutions
In this webinar, AnnMarie Churchill walked through Wellness Together Canada (wellnesstogether.ca), a free, on-line mental health and substance use support available to everyone in Canada 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This portal provides resources for self-directed learning, peer-to-peer connection and counselling via phone or text. AnnMarie Churchill discussed how the portal can address the unique needs of those providing health and care services.
With: Tanya Neumeyer from Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO)
In this huddle, Tanya highlighted educational resources and tools that Rainbow Health Ontario has developed to support service providers in learning how to provide welcoming, inclusive, and affirming care to LGBT2SQ+ communities.
Speakers: Molly Rader from Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA)
This webinar focused on how to provide culturally safe care to Indigenous youth. Molly discussed philosophies of care including two-eyed seeing, culture as therapy, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, and person-centered care and how these philosophies are applied in a shelter setting. Molly also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous youth and pandemic support strategies that UNYA has used.
Speakers: Dr Monty Ghosh (Doctor of Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Addiction Medicine) and Kim Ritchie (Executive Director, Grenfell Ministries)
Speakers: Ivy Bourgeault from the University of Ottawa
Ivy discussed how mental health and psychological safety at work is heavily influenced by sex and gender, and how recognizing this can help managers build their capacity to support employees’ mental health in the workplace. Ivy also presented the “Mental Health in the Workplace: A SGBA+ Informed Toolkit” which provides with promising resources to address workplace stress and mental health, work life balance, workplace discrimination, diversity and bias, harassment and bullying, and stigma, disclosure and help seeking.
Facilitators: Nikolija Lukich from the Ottawa Hospital, Jeff Karabanow from Dalhousie University, and Eric Jonsson from Navigator Street Outreach
This discussion forum focused on ethical considerations and challenges of vaccinations in shelters and substance use facilities.
With Scott Elliott, Clem Fong and Patrick McDougall from the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation
Scott, Clem and Patrick shared strategies the Dr. Peter Centre uses to provide harm reduction services during the pandemic and in times of crisis. They also discussed how to provide person centered harm reduction services and the supports required for other organizations to do this.
With Jeanette Waegemakers Schiff from the University of Calgary and Alana Jones from Fred Victor
This webinar focused on organizational and individual responses to the increased traumatic stress amongst homeless services staff, which has been greatly exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Jeanette Waegemakers Schiff discussed the importance of psychosocial and trauma informed training, education and supports for staff experiencing increased traumatic stress and working in vulnerable and high-risk situations. Alana Jones discussed strategies she has implemented to support staff well-being throughout the pandemic.
With Grace Richandi and Tina Kaur from Inner City Health Associates
Inner City Health Associates led this webinar and shared details about their CARE program that was developed as response to the complexities and vulnerabilities of people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. CARE offers individual and shelter-level COVID prevention and mitigation interventions as well as immunization planning tools for Toronto based shelters.
Learning Together: Substance Use Centres and Emergency Shelters is a collaboration between the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction, BC Patient Safety and Quality Council and Healthcare Excellence Canada.