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YRDSB Summer 2020 Mental Health Groups
YRDSB Summer 2020 Mental Health Groups

The following therapeutic groups to support student mental health are being provided by YRDSB mental health professionals from School Social Work and Psychological Services. The groups are available for YRDSB students to access through a virtual platform over the summer months. Spaces in the groups will be offered on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached. 

 

Please see the chart below for information regarding the groups and how to register.


Group Name: 

Group Description and Information: 

Registration Details: 

I am not defined by...: A group for Black self-identified YRDSB students

This virtual group is intended to provide an affirming space for students in grades 5-8 and 9-12, ​with up to 12 participants in each group.  Delivered in 90 minute weekly, small group counselling sessions. Students will have an opportunity to talk about racial trauma and their experiences as young people of color while developing effective and positive coping skills to manage emotions and respond to stressful situations. 


Elementary group: 

July 24 - August 28, Fridays from 1-2:30pm

Secondary group:

July 22 - August 26, Wednesdays from 1-2:30pm  


Through their own narratives(stories) and other interactive activities, students will learn about managing feelings, effective communication, self-confidence, and problem-solving. Each session is designed to help students explore and understand their unique strengths and personal response to stress and emotions. Sessions will also focus on learning relaxation techniques designed to help students feel in control and calm when they are nervous, worried or experiencing emotions such as sadness, anger or frustration.


The groups will be co-led by two Black self-identified Mental Health professionals. Hoshana Calliste, YRDSB School Social Worker, and Roxanne Francis, Community Mental Health Professional from Newmarket Psychotherapy Team. 


Hoshana Calliste is a School Social Worker with the YRDSB. She brings a well-rounded skill set to her practice with over 10 years of field experience within the education, community, hospital and private practice setting. She specializes in child and adolescent mental health with a focus on empowering youth and families in discovering their voice, strength and resilience. She engages in collaborative, honest, caring and judgement-free work with an understanding that each person she encounters brings with them their own unique and meaningful story. She is a lifelong learner inspired by the students and families she is privileged to work with. As such, she consistently engages in professional learning to best aid the children and families she supports. She is committed to cultivating her passion for speaking out against all forms of discrimination and racism, dismantling structures of oppression and providing advocacy for those who may feel silenced by the world around them. 


Roxanne Francis is a Social Worker and Psychotherapist with the Newmarket Psychotherapy Team. Roxanne specializes in providing a fun, yet gentle and supportive atmosphere where children can process their thoughts and emotions and find healing from their troubles. She also helps adults reset their equilibrium as they navigate their own challenges of parenting, career and financial worries, marital/couples/relationship challenges, mental health diagnoses such as bi-polar disorder, anxiety, depression, loss and trauma. Roxanne is experienced in the practice of Play Therapy with children as well as psychotherapy with adolescents and adults. She possesses a Masters in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker who has been helping the young at heart regain peace in their lives for more than 10 years. Roxanne works from a place of understanding and compassion.

Registration will be open on a first come, first service basis for Black self-identified students of YRDSB to register. 


To express your interest in the Elementary or Secondary offering of the group, or with any questions about the group, please email: Hoshana.Calliste@yrdsb.ca

Connections: A group for racialized 2SLGTBQ+ youth of YRDSB

A virtual group for self identified racialized 2SLGTBQ+ YRDSB youth 12-18 years old for up to 20 students. We recognize that racialization happens differently to different communities of colour. We aim to prioritize and centre Black and Brown 2SLGBTQ+ voices and experiences. The group will be two hours in length. 


Start Date: Tuesday July 21 , 2020

End Date: Tuesday August 25, 2020 

The groups will run on Tuesdays from 1-3pm.  

The group will be co-facilitated by:

Andres Gayoso Descalzi (he/him/his pronouns) is a queer trans man hailing from lands currently known as Peru, also known as Tawantinsuyu, of mixed Indigenous and settler ancestry, with light skin privilege. He is a settler on Turtle Island and is nowadays more often than not read as cis. Experiences of racialization and transphobia have and continue to shape his interactions with himself and the world around him. Andres is currently the 2SLGBTQ+ identity-specific school social worker at the YRDSB. He works every day at practicing from a youth-centered, anti-oppressive, affirming, harm reduction framework in person-to-person interactions as well as those he has with “the system”. He believes in the transformative power of intentional relationship building and has been working as a youth counsellor with 2SLGBTQ+ youth for almost 10 years.

Hugo-Vladimir Vallecilla (he/him/his pronouns) is a Settler, Cisgender, Black LatinX Mixed (Māori, Sephardic Ashkenazi) with light skin privilege. He identifies as a passionate Ally and child and youth advocate, who diligently works from an anti-oppressive social justice lens. He is one of the founding members of the first Gender-Based Violence office in education in North America in the Toronto District School Board and was a presenter and on the planning committee of the First National Gay-Straight Alliance in Canada in partnership with EGALE in 2013: called Outshine. He supported the Caring and Safe Schools team in the 2019-2020 academic year in the YRDSB. He is the proud brother and family member of many 2SLGBTQ+ family members. 

Registration is open on a first come, first serve basis to YRDSB self-identified racialized 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages 12-18 years.


*Please note, a second group may open depending on the number of registrants received. 


To express your interest in registration or if you have questions, please contact:  andres.gayosodescalzi@yrdsb.ca 

 or Hugo-Vladimir.Vallecilla@yrdsb.ca 

Together not alone: Group to support student anxiety  (Conducted in Farsi) 

Parivash Kalantari, Registered Social Worker, and Dr. Narges Hosseini-Sedehi, School and Clinical Psychologist will be co-leading Together Not Alone, a virtual group to support student anxiety. 

Start Date: Monday July 20, 2020

End Date: Wednesday August 12, 2020

The group will run two times per week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3 pm for four weeks, for a total of 8 sessions. 

Parivash is an immigrant from Iran who is aware of challenges living in a new system/society. She has been supporting newcomer students in GTA for 10 years. Parivash has years of clinical experience supporting children and youth with mental health challenges.

Narges is an Iranian immigrant who has many years of experience working with children/adolescents at hospital, community and school settings. She provides services for students and their families at YRDSB.  Narges supports students’ mental health and social-emotional well-being by promoting students’ resiliency, and a sense of self and belonging. 

Participants learn about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and approaches to address anxiety. The group will explore the emotional brain, triggers for anxiety and healthy coping skills to deal with anxiety. Participants will also learn to identify problematic coping strategies which can seem exciting.  

The group will be conducted in Farsi and aims to support YRDSB Farsi speaking youth ages 12-16 years. The group will be two hours per session and will occur two times per week over a span of five weeks. The group is open to a maximum number of 12 participants. 

Registration is open on a first come, first serve basis to YRDSB self-identified Farsi speaking youth ages 12-16 years. 


To express your interest in the group or if you have any questions, please contact Parivash.Kalantari@yrdsb.ca or narges.hosseini-sedehi@yrdsb.ca 

Supporting Student Stress and Anxiety 

The board will be offering several groups related to anxiety over the summer. Registration is open on a first come, first serve basis to YRDSB students.


Group 1: Beverly Ellenbogen and Dr. Michaela Evans, YRDSB school and clinical psychologists, will be co-leading a group for YRDSB grade 10 and 11 students targeting stress and anxiety with CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Strategies). This group is open to six participants. 


Start Date: Wednesday July 22, 2020

End Date: Wednesday August 26, 2020

This group will run one time per week for six weeks, from 3-4pm. 


Group 2: Dr. Narges Hosseini-Sedehi (School and Clinical Psychologist) and Ms. Kerrian Baker (School Psychoeducational Consultant) will be co-leading an anxiety group for YRDSB  students. This group aims  to support students to learn about anxiety and new effective coping strategies by using the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). This group is open to 7 participants, between age 10 and 13. 


Start Date: Tuesday July 21, 2020

End Date: Thursday August 13, 2020

The group will run two times per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm-3:30pm for a total of 8 sessions. 


Group 3: Suzanne Young and Andres Gayoso Descalzi, YRDSB School Social Workers, will be co-facilitating a peer support group for students going into grades 10-12 who want to talk about and work through experiences of anxiety and develop/expand on interpersonal skills and helpful coping.


Start Date: Wednesday July 15, 2020

End Date: Wednesday August 26, 2020

The group will run on Wednesdays 2-3:30pm, for a total of seven sessions. 


Group 4: Naiomi John, YRDSB School Social Worker and Jason Bloom, YRDSB School Psychoeducational Consultant, will be co-facilitating a peer support group for students ages 12 and up who want to talk about and work through experiences of anxiety and develop/expand on interpersonal skills and coping 


Start Date: Tuesday July 21, 2020

End Date: Tuesday August 6, 2020

The group will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4pm for a total of six sessions. 



Group 5: Dr. Naomi Sankar-DeLeeuw and Dr. Galit Ishaik, YRDSB Psychologists, will be co-facilitating a group for grade 7 and 8 students. The focus will be learning about stress and anxiety and effective coping strategies using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach. The group is open to six participants. 


Start Date: Monday July 20, 2020

End Date: Monday August 24, 2020 

The group will run on Mondays from 2-3pm, with a total of six sessions. 



Group 6: Dr. Naomi Sankar-DeLeeuw and Dr. Galit Ishaik, YRDSB Psychologists, will be co-facilitating a group for grade 7 and 8 students. The focus will be learning about stress and anxiety and  effective coping strategies using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach. The group is open to six participants. 


Start Date: Monday July 20, 2020

End Date: Monday August 24, 2020

The group will run on Mondays from 4-5 pm for a total of six sessions. 


To register or ask questions:


Group 1: Beverly.Ellenbogen@yrdsb.ca or Michaela.Evans@yrdsb.ca 


Group 2: narges.hosseini-sedehi@yrdsb.ca or kerrian.baker@yrdsb.ca  


Group 3: 

suzanne.e.young@yrdsb.ca or andres.gayosodescalzi@yrdsb.ca 


Group 4:

naiomi.john@

yrdsb.ca or

jason.bloom@yrdsb.ca


Group 5:

Naomi.sankar-

deleeuw@yrdsb.ca or

galit.ishaik@

yrdsb.ca 


Group 6:

Naomi.sankar-

deleeuw@yrdsb.ca or galit.ishaik@

yrdsb.ca 








 
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