The Sashbear Foundation Summer E-Newsletter 2020 | FC Online | Webinar Series | Indigenous Relations | Walk Update

Summer 2020

In this issue:
  • Family Connections Update
  • Webinar Series
  • Indigenous Relations Update
  • Sashbear Walk Update

Family Connections Update

Transitioning to Online Delivery

Our Family Connections™ groups transitioned to virtual delivery in March with the arrival of COVID-19 across Canada. Through the immense efforts of our volunteers, we were able to complete all of the 19 groups that were interrupted by COVID-19, and began 17 new online groups in June. One fortunate benefit of moving to virtual delivery is that we can now reach areas where we have never offered in-person groups. There are currently participants registered from 9 provinces in our summer 2020 groups. Fall groups will continue to be offered online. Register your interest through our website:

Quotes from online participants:

"It would be good to continue this program on zoom because I would not have been able to take part otherwise. This program is already helping me with my loved ones. I'm developing a stronger relationship with them."

—FC Online Participant

"I feel that the course content is highly relevant and that the skills I am learning will be put to good use. I would like to extend my gratitude to the facilitators and Sashbear for providing this invaluable program."

—FC Online Participant

"Thank you so much for this and for all you are doing to help so many of us who are struggling. This is an incredible gift you are giving us. I really think it's a miracle—so very grateful."

—FC Online Participant

Family Connections™ Volunteers Provide Needed Skills for Families

These groups would not be happening without our many volunteers. We are so appreciative of the time, energy and creativity given by our FC co-facilitators and observers. They continue to share these necessary skills with other families, at a time when their own lives are affected by the pandemic. If you have completed Family ConnectionsTM (with good attendance), and you are interested in paying it forward to other families, please consider volunteering to become a group co-facilitator. You can reach out to Doreen at to find out more.

Alumni Meetings: Monthly Skills Refreshers

Our Alumni meetings have also moved online, allowing Family ConnectionsTM alumni from across the country to attend these monthly skills refreshers. If you have completed Family Connections with good attendance (meaning you had only 1 or 2 absences in a weekly group), then you qualify to attend these Alumni meetings. Contact if you think you should be receiving invitations. 

Webinar Series

To help support families during the pandemic, we have offered a series of webinars open to all. These have proven to be extremely popular, with attendance up to 850 for some topics.

On August 26, we will hear the personal recovery journey of Chyann Garrick, a remarkable young woman with BPD.

Register for this webinar here:


Most of the webinars were recorded and can be watched from the Sashbear website:

The following webinars are all available for viewing online.

Current Research on Effective Treatments for PTSD and BPD

Skye Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Managing Grief and Loss

Alan Fruzzetti, Ph.D.

Discover Mindfulness

MBSR instructor Karen Waddell

Understanding Emotion Dysregulation

Alex Chapman, Ph.D.

Coping with Emotion Dysregulation During COVID-19

Molly Robertson, Ph.D.

Pathways Forward: Cultivating Hope after a Suicide Loss

Alex Shendelman, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

Indigenous Relations Update

All My Relations”

“All my relations” is at first a reminder of who we are and of our relationship with both our family and our relatives. It also reminds us of the extended relationship we share with all human beings. But the relationships that Native people see go further, the web of kinship to animals, to the birds, to the fish, to the plants, to all the animate and inanimate forms that can be seen or imagined. More than that, “all my relations” is an encouragement for us to accept the responsibilities we have within the universal family by living our lives in a harmonious and moral manner.

–– Thomas King, All My Relations

"All my relations," means all. When this statement is spoken by an Indigenous person it is recognition and acceptance of the ideas of harmony, unity and equality. Ultimately, it means that all living things are connected, to each other and to the Creator. Each of us cannot exist without the other, I cannot exist without you and you cannot exist without me. What I do affects you and others and what you do affects me.

Let me introduce myself. I am a newly appointed board member and the Director of Indigenous Relations. I am a Status First Nations person, and the son of a residential school survivor. I have had the privilege as an itinerant speaker to share and discuss issues pertaining to my mother’s experience in residential schools and to encourage participation in the truth and reconciliation process. 

Terry Crosby with Grandparents

Thomas King’s quote above aligns perfectly with what the Sashbear Foundation stands for. Sashbear is committed to growing relationships, teaching skills to be effective and helping participants and their loved ones find a life worth living.

Sashbear embraces all walks of life and recognizes that how we conduct ourselves toward others has a direct result on the intended outcome for relationships we have. We recognize that the Indigenous people of Canada have suffered and continue to suffer the effects of colonization and the residential schools. We would like to help alleviate and restore relationships through Family Connections. I believe that Family Connections would be a helpful tool for healing. Our desire is to bring our tools to First Nations communities in a culturally sensitive way, not as leaders, walking out in front, but as peers, walking alongside Indigenous peoples.

We are committed in the next two year to inform ourselves as board members and facilitators about Indigenous culture and issues and to the process of truth and reconciliation for the Indigenous people of Canada. Understanding this dynamic will help us grow in our understanding of the trauma and intergenerational effects that persist for many First Nations communities.

As we are invited into the First Nations communities we would like to see Family Connections extend across Canada and make an impact on this generation.

I invited an Indigenous Elder to open our conference last October 2019 in Vancouver, BC with a land acknowledgement. Elder Doris taught us also that our connectedness extends to the person beside us. We joined hands completing a circle of 60+ attendees recognizing how close we are physically and how close we are as human beings. As I thanked her for her contribution to the morning it was very interesting to hear the connections Elder Doris made to Lynn Coveys opening address. It was encouraging.

We have taken the first steps to make connections in British Columbia with Indigenous educators and healthcare workers within Fraser Health attending our Family Connections weekend gatherings and 12-week group sessions. We feel it would be an important step that they experience first hand the connections made and knowledge developed as many of you know through these sessions.

We will be inviting a Indigenous speaker to talk with us through a Webinar in the next couple of months to teach us about the history, culture and contemporary issues of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Keep a lookout for that announcement in the near future.

One of the first events that Sashbear will participate in is Orange shirt day on September 30, 2020. Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that was given to Phyllis Webstad by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph's Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. Orange Shirt Day honours the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and invites everyone to learn more about the history of those schools and the impact this system has had on the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

We look forward to future relationships with First Nations communities and the positive effects the Sashbear Foundation can contribute to truth and reconciliation and the healing process.

All My Relations,

Terry Crosby

Director of Indigenous Relations

Walk Update

Thank you for making The Sashbear Web Walk a success

Your help allows us to continue making waves for mental health across the world.

Since 2012, we’ve faced and overcome countless challenges organizing The Sashbear Walk. But nobody could have prepared us for COVID-19 and the repercussions of the pandemic – especially for our most important fundraiser. Months of planning suddenly evaporated. With only 3 months between us and the official date of the Walk, we had an important decision to make. Do we cancel the event, or do we improvise? It was a unanimous decision to continue our mission in what is now an increasingly and extremely difficult time for everyone struggling with their mental health.

The rest is history – an important moment of Sashbear’s history. We produced our first-ever digital Web Walk and made waves around the world. Countless groups and individuals coast-to-coast participated by sending amazingly creative and fun videos and pictures of their own walk and Sashbear fundraising initiatives. Hundreds of people tuned into our experience, thousands saw our Web Walk Around the World videos on social media, and, most importantly, we officially raised $82,120.

We could not have done this without your support and generous donations.

When we say that we’ve made waves around the world, it means that our Web Walk has inspired other NEABPD groups in other countries. Our colleagues in Australia did their very own Sashbear Web Walk and succeeded in raising over $4,000. New collaborations like this are exciting and inspiring, and we hope to continue spreading Sashbear initiatives around the globe.

Your participation and heart not only saved our fundraiser, but directly contributed to life saving skills for many families. Collectively, we have succeeded in creating light in a dark time. To you, and all the individuals and teams who raised money for our cause, you have left us humbled, honoured and determined.

Together, we have proven that once again, there is always a way to help those in need.

Thank you, and we hope to see you again next year.

Yours in skills and hope,

The Team at The Sashbear Foundation  |

The Sashbear Foundation is a volunteer-run Canadian Registered Charity

BN: 8233 90042 RR0001  DONATE NOW


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