Embracing Empowerment Counselling Services continues to offer virtual therapy sessions to new and existing clients. As the province of Ontario re-opens for business, We are slowly bringing back in person sessions on Mondays with precautionary measures. If you're struggling or know someone who is please reach out to us at info@embracingempowerment.com or 613-983-6737. You Are Not Alone.

Seeking Professional HELP -Lending A Hand, A Listening Ear & Compassionate Heart

A topic that most of us have anxiety of – seeking professional help when we are unable to figure things out on our own.

The most common statement that is often used ” how can I open up to a stranger when I can’t even open up to my family/friends”

The word therapy is scary but also has held a lot of stigma. Therapy used to be looked down upon and only if you were defined as “crazy” that you would go seek help.

The world of therapy has changed dramatically as we break the silence on mental health. Seeking help isn’t just for significant mental health issues but it is also to help and guide when you just feel lost or needing a direction to find your passion in life.

When we click on a button on our laptop, smartphone, or pick up the phone to say “hi my name is, and I am inquiring what your counselling services offer as I need some help” can be the most powerful step that you would ever make for yourself. Seeking help and talking to someone other than family and friends are intimidating but at Embracing Empowerment counselling services, we are guided by how you are feeling through hope, compassion and empathy.

Therapy doesn’t change YOU it Empowers You ! #EmbraceHopeCompassionHealing #EmpoweringTheProcess

Call To Action – The Essential Need For Community Help

Call To Action – The Essential Need For Community Help

Call to Action means placing our conversations into physical motion.  We hear ” keep the conversation going” we say ” let’s talk”, but what  happens after the talk, what happens when meeting time to discuss important issues end and everyone goes home. As Therapists, we often hear, ” the conversation never stopped whether in our own heads or with someone else, we feel all this talking has made strides,  but to where, when I’m still feeling anxious, depressed, anger, numb, or suicidal. Now I’ve added another thing onto my life..addiction”

As Therapists, As Policy Makers we know it takes time for physical  change to happen such as easier access, faster access, implementation. According to Public Health Agency of Canada we all must make a commitment to learn , which means building a mental health resource kit, way before crisis occurs as the wrong time to prepare for CRISIS is when we’re in it. We’re all accountable, and it’s time to walk our talk, it’s time to Call to Action. SPEAK UP! REACH OUT! EDUCATE! SHARE! And IMPLEMENT!

Mental Health Breakdown – Power & Control in the Workplace

Mental Health Breakdown – Power & Control in the Workplace

Stigma is one of the biggest reasons why mental health is not being addressed efficiently in the workplace especially when employees feel inadequate in their job or feel they would be warned for not doing what they were told based on timeline workload. There is an overall consensus that if an employee divulges their deterioration of mental health that it would increase tension for them at work, therefore keeping quiet or increasing their sick days would omit the discussion of talking about it with their employers.  According to New York Times about 25 percent of employees receive negative responses for their problems including being bullied and the reason why they aren’t being promoted by their employer. Yet, employers advertise to the public that they have compassion and empathy for their employee’s well being. A definite mix message to any employee who is struggling with their own mental health. Power and Control in the Workplace is a traditional tactic to produce sales from their employees without the burden of losses due to a number of workers off the job.

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Even today when mental health is on the forefront of corporate discussions, employees still feel they cannot speak of their own mental health breakdowns.   Companies have brought in more wellness and mindfulness techniques for their employees . Business wellness is an 8 billion dollar industry, yet the simplicity of just asking an employee how they are doing has become fragmented by business stocks and status. According to World Health Organization (WHO) by 2020 they estimate that depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. Many companies end up failing to address the root of their employees mental health breakdown and bandaid by introducing more wellness into the company.

Empathetic and Compassionate Employers are ESSENTIAL! Your compassionate care for mental health must be treated like any physical injury at work, respond immediately, provide care immediately, and ask how it happened!

Supporting Someone with Mental Health and Illness

Supporting Someone with Mental Health and Illness

Mental Health Affects everyone not just the person who is actually suffering from it. It’s hard to examine the day when you are unsure how to support one another through the challenging life of mental health. Here are a few ways to engage and support those who are living with some form of mental illness:

1. Acknowledgment- a huge hurdle as we avoid and label .Acknowledging that mental health is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and voiced can alter and even omit stigma.

2. Understand that even though someone suffers from mental illness does not always require 24 hour care. We call it Space Support – where you acknowledge that everyone needs space but can always be there for them. A listening ear is an essential part of support.

3.  Voicing that you care for someone who is dealing with mental health is the most powerful tool that can even save a life! ” You are Worthy!”

4.Understanding that those who are dealing with mental health , they don’t want to be ” fixed”, they want you to understood that they will have “bad days” just be there for them.

5. To be accepted. Accepting means opening up that mental illness does not always have physical wounds, some are invisible, and even hard to detect. So when it’s being said that they are feeling down and their brain isn’t the same, acknowledge the wounds . Compassionate acceptance is evolution of crushing Stigma.

6. Labels are labels they are not to be used to define someone. Calling someone “crazy” or using the words like “crazy, or mental breakdown” in ordinary daily language isn’t going to change how we look at mental health and the person dealing with it, we actually grow the gap even further.

7. Asking, ” how can I help you” or ” how are you” can open their darkest gate and start a conversation. It can be that simple.

8. Hugs – when words cannot be expressed, bear hugs can let any guard down, reduce stigma, stress, anxiety

9. Being accepted for who they are now is the only truest way to be free.

10. Words can be only words unless they have meaning, so when you are truly there for someone – phrases like ” I believe you” can alter and even save a life. Mental health affects all!

Closing The Gap: Bullying, School and The Rise Of Suicide

Closing The Gap: Bullying, School and The Rise Of Suicide

Bullying is a learned behavior.  Bullies have one point of another have been bullied themselves. Bullies enter their own school property and pick on younger students, older students, or even their own friends. Primary anti-bullying days are all over the school, not in workplaces, or rallies, or events. The Bullied feels scared, unworthy, anxious, sad, depressed and even suicidal. The Bullied connects with others who have been bullied themselves.They either get angry and form a bully pact or  A Suicide pact because they believe there is no other way out. According to Canadian Institutes of Health and Research, has the 9th highest rate of bullying and about 1 out of 3 teens reported being bullied.  Another factor to add onto this, is that more bullying occurs to certain cultural and ethnic groups, therefore bullying and suicide rates increases. For instance, “In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 53 per cent of trans youth (ages 14 to 25) reported being bullied in school. (excerpt from Winnipeg Metro News-May 2017)”

So how do we change this? Can we change this? Where do we start?

All incredible questions that have one major answer, bullies cannot be stopped until the origin of how it started gets addressed. It’s called the  trickle effect theory, but there are times in our lives we have to do things we may not have a choice, like paying our taxes. But we always have a choice to VOICE our thoughts, VOICE how to be respected, VOICE to be heard, VOICE to be listened to, VOICE to be accepted as we are. Our Voice can change how the trickle down theory can be demolished. So let’s go back to the school system

A student is bullied. A student calls out for help.  A bully gets called into the office and spoken to. The bully leaves the office, says nothing until the next day and rebullies. The student goes to the office again for help. The student is advised to walk away if they “bother” them again. This time the student walks aways, but isn’t able to get up after being beaten outside of the school yard. The student is terrified. The student receives inappropriate emails, texts. The student feels worthless. The student ends their life.

Bullies have been bullied before, and were not given a chance to VOICE their hurt, and only know survival skills, so they bully to protect their own pain.


Tips to Calm An Anxious Child

Tips to Calm An Anxious Child

How we approach our children when they aren’t able to speak about what bothers them can change the outlook. Here are a few tips to help you along the way –

1. Feeling safe is the number one thing a child feels comfort

2. Talking, when feeling safe they are able to start processing their thoughts

3. Getting down to their level of what their worry is often makes it real for them and feeling understood

4. Drawing – art therapy is one amazing tool that helps a child express their thoughts

5. More knowledge of their fear the more empowering feeling it becomes for a child. Knowledge is power- embrace it!

6. Deep Breathing or as we often call it Mindfulness techniques are a tool that even adults use when things get overbearing .

7. As parents we cannot see the sight of our own child buried in their worries, give them the time to tell you, it makes a child feel they can reach out and know you’re there . A listening ear is far more productive than fixing their issues for them .

8. Always ask your child – is there anything you need from me? It allows them to understand you are there for them no matter what.

Anxiousness often subsides, but when we are in the moment, it feels like an eternity. And validate that feeling! It’s okay to feel that, it’s their emotions, it’s part of them , therefore it become meaningful , no matter how big or small.

The Journey of A Federal Framework – PTSD

The Journey of A Federal Framework – PTSD

Changes and Implementations of Federal Policies and Legislation takes time, sometimes it can take years.  A disheartening fact but important to recognize when advocating for Mental Health initiatives for any geographical area or population.

600 days ago, An Federal Proposed Bill C-211 was born.  An Newly Elected Federal MP took on this Bill and brought it to life, of the reality, the hardships, the dedication, the challenges and the heartbreaking stories of First Responders, Correctional Officers, RCMP, Military and Veterans trying to overcome their Mental Health Injury – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or now verbally known as Post Traumatic Stress Injury.  There is that heart wrenching reality that some who dedicated and sacrificed their lives for Canadians could no longer hold on to their pain and took their own life.

Death by Suicide is a very dark fact amongst Police Officers, Paramedics, FireFighters, Correctional Officers, RCMP, Active Soldiers, and Veterans. Stigma continues to be present not only in the public arena but at times within their own services.

So there was a very important job to do, and that was to have Bill C-211 a Federal PTSD Framework to come to light in the House Of Commons.  600 days ago the process of debates began.

For every Private Member’s Bill/Federal Proposed Bill – there are steps to take for it to be recognized of it’s importance.  Data and Statistical analysis begins, interviews, collaboration, listening to hours upon hours of traumatic and heartbreaking stories and then the debate (a tiered process) in front of all Federal MP’s to understand why this Bill weighed more than another.

For any Bill to move onto the next stage, they must pass all tiered process or as they call it in the House of Commons – Readings which they are three.  Bill C-211, passed 1st reading, the two parts of 2nd reading, the Health Committee, and as of Friday June 16, 2017, passed the 3rd and Final Reading. It now enters into the last phase before it officially passes from a Proposed Bill to a Legislative Bill.

Everyday a life is gone, Everyday someone puts on a uniform whether it be First Responders, Corrections, RCMP, Military or Veteran, and knows that their life becomes second to anyone they protect, serve and save.  It’s time to take care of them. It’s time to put them first.Federal-PTSD-Framework-C211

In The Moment – Mindfulness

In The Moment – Mindfulness

A Quiet Space – Mindfulness embracingempowerment.com/…/A-Quiet-Space-Mindfulness.mov

We all heard of the word and it has become the norm on the “how to” of peace.

We define Mindfulness as being present without judgement in every moment.

Military, First Responders are using the concept of grounding – which means being in the moment, feeling their feet on the ground, what they see in the moment, how they feel in the moment.

Mindfulness can be a useful tool when you suffer from anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness is an umbrella , and underneath it are thousands of tools . The key to understand mindfulness, is to seek which techniques works for you.

The Wounds Within

The Wounds Within

Understanding trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Injury (PTSD) isn’t an easy thing, but imagine living with it. Here are a few pointers about how We can help.

Trauma changes people, period. It changes ones physical being as well as how one thinks.

PTSD/Trauma hijacks ones identity. It takes away the one thing they knew for sure. Every moment is looked upon as dangerous, threatening and unpredictable. All the meanwhile one feels helpless, powerless, fearful.

Trauma makes one always on autopilot, a survival mode. Therefore hyper vigilance is pre-dominant. Survival responses are not in the control of the person itself but what they see and in order to protect themselves from further trauma including re-traumatization .

Knowledge is POWER- the more we know and how it is seen through the person suffering from it, the less we become scared of it- we need to normalize the aspects of trauma and PTSD, because it opens the doors to healing for those who wear the wounds within.