The Sashbear Foundation Autumn E-Newsletter 2020 | Bell Let's Talk | Research | Family Connections and Webinars

Autumn 2020

In this issue:

Bell Let's Talk Grant

Expanding French programming in Ontario

Sashbear is excited to receive a $15,000 grant from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund to enhance the French-language version of Family Connections - Connexions FamilialesMC - and begin to offer programs in French in Ontario communities. 

Connexions Familiales has been pioneered in the Montreal area. This grant allows us to develop additional materials in French, and to caption our videos for French-speaking participants. It will also permit the training and development of additional French-speaking group facilitators in Ontario.

The first Connexions Familiales group in Ontario will be offered in the Sudbury-North Bay region in spring of 2021. For more information or to register, please email

All recipients of this year's Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grants will be announced on World Mental Health Day, October 10.

Christiane Devaud is one of the Sashbear Family Connections facilitators who will begin offering French groups in Ontario as a result of this grant.

Research Update

Publication of Research Review on Family Connections

Sashbear's Lynn Courey was approached to contribute an article to the scientific journal Current Opinion in Psychology: Volume 37 Personality Pathology. 

Lynn, together with co-authors Doreen Hyndman (also of Sashbear), Clare Sheasgreen (psychiatric nurse at CAMH and research partner to Sashbear) and Dr. Elizabeth McKay (Ryerson University) contributed What we know - and want to know - about Family Connections: a review from the perspective of lived experience

The published article is available online:

Opportunity to Participate in Research into the Caregiver Experience

Researchers at University College Cork (Ireland) are conducting research internationally into the experience of family members or other caregivers of those with Borderline Personality Disorder. This research will look at coping strategies, distress and well-being in this caregiver population, and has the potential to provide insights into effective coping strategies, the impact of family programs, and the impact of COVID-19 in families who are impacted by BPD.

To participate in this research study, which involves completing an online survey of about 30 minutes, go to: 

DBT-Based Brief Intervention for Family Members of Youth

Sashbear was pleased to collaborate with Clare Sheasgreen (CAMH, Ryerson University) in her research into DBT-informed family interventions for youth with mental health concerns.

Together with Sashbear, Clare developed a two-hour brief intervention workshop for family members, delivered online in May, 2020, to 30 research participants. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from study participants and the results are expected to be published in 2021.

Family ConnectionsTM Update

Fall FC Groups Underway

There is continued high demand for Family Connections groups. Over the past two weeks, we have been able to:

launch 22 Family Connections groups

to provide skills and hope for 275 participants

led by 75 volunteer facilitators and observers

from coast to coast across 9 provinces and 1 territory

Free Webinar Series Continues

Sashbear's webinar series will continue November 4 with Managing the Complicated Relationship between Mental Health and Substance Use in Youth: a Guide for Families, presented by Adina Hauser, MSW, the clinical lead for the Transitional Youth Program at Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto, and an experienced therapist specializing in youth and young adults with concurrent mental health and substance use concerns.

Save the date now, more information will follow next week.

Previous webinars are still available online:

Consider a Monthly Donation to Sashbear

Have you benefited from Family Connections or one of our webinars?

The heart of our organization is our volunteers, but we do have ongoing expenses to cover so we can support our volunteers
as they do this important work.

Make a one-time gift, or set up a monthly donation, through Canada Helps.

Help Sashbear continue making waves on mental health.


Media Update

Sashbear Profiled in Toronto Guardian

Sashbear was profiled by the Toronto Guardian as part of their ongoing series about local charities.

"The landscape for support for families with loved one struggling with mental health issues is finally changing. An emphasis on supporting loved one as well as family members is now recognized as important to improve outcomes."

Read the article online:  |

Help Sashbear to support families online - DONATE NOW
The Sashbear Foundation is a volunteer-based Canadian Registered Charity  BN: 8233 90042 RR0001