The Sashbear Foundation  |  We’ve been very busy! Find out why.

Spring 2021

In this Issue:

  • Sashbear continues to make waves for mental health
  • SAVE THE DATE: 2021 Web-Walk registration opens April 1st
  • Call for 2021 Web-Walk Sponsors
  • Truth and Reconciliation—Open Hearts (Part 1)
  • Research Study Recruitment
  • Family Connections Update
  • Educational Webinar Series Update
  • Mindfulness Day 2021 Presentation
  • A Valentine for Sashbear

Sashbear continues to make waves

Guest on podcast—Broken Open!

In January, Sashbear President and Founder, Lynn Courey, was able to talk about the Foundation as the guest on the podcast—Broken Open by Maureen Townsend! We are hopeful that it reaches people that are in need of help but don't know where to turn. You can watch the podcast here.

Click on image to watch

Qualitative Exploration on Youth and Family Engagement

Sashbear’s Lynn Courey is co-author of a recently published study on the value of youth and family engagement in research and clinical service pathway design as part of the YouthCan IMPACT clinical trial. Sashbear was honoured to collaborate with researchers from CAMH, University of Toronto, and Sunnybrook Hospital on this publication. Click here to read the complete article.

'It reshaped how I will do research':
A qualitative exploration of team members' experiences with youth and family engagement in a randomized controlled trial

Click here to read >

Save the date
for the 2021 Sashbear Web-Walk!

Registration opens April 1
Web-Walk runs May 1 to May 30

Sometimes you can find the silver lining in even the most difficult of times. For us, it was by scrambling to preserve last year’s Sashbear Walk fundraiser—despite the COVID-19 lockdown.

By transforming the Walk into a digital experience, we not only raised an incredible amount of funding, we’ve also since been able to connect with so many more people—especially those in the most remote of locations.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce we will be re-launching the Sashbear Web-Walk!

Registration will open on April 1. The Sashbear Web-Walk runs from May 1 through May 30. An online Web-Walk Celebration will take place on Sunday, May 30.

Stay tuned for more information! We have a lot of exciting news we can’t wait to share with you coming soon. 

Web-Walk Sponsorship

We are excited that our 9th Annual Sashbear Walk is going full stream ahead as a virtual challenge—from May 1 through May 30. Now the real work begins. In addition to needing participants to bring this Web-Walk to life, we also need sponsors.

As a small organization, we rely heavily on partners—sponsors and participants alike. This year is no exception and we look for your support now more than ever before.

Last year, over 100 online participants and 9 sponsors took part in the Web-Walk and raised over $ 70,000 which helped fund Sashbear programming to support families across the country, providing them with invaluable skills to improve their relationship with loved ones facing mental health challenges. The funds raised during our Sashbear Walk represent 47% of our annual operating expenses.

Would you or an organization, local business or friend’s company you know be able to commit to $ 2,000, $ 1,000 or even $ 500 to help bring skills and hope to families across Canada? We’ve got lots of opportunity to give profile and recognition.

Click here for more details or email to to request the sponsorship proposal.


THANK YOU to our first returning sponsors for 2021!

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Thank you McLean 3East, DBT Path, Sage Living Toronto, Kingsbury Dental for your generous and ongoing commitment. We continue to share positive skills because of your support.

Truth and Reconciliation—Open Hearts (Part 1)

by Terry Crosby, Sashbear Board Director of Indigenous Relations

As an organization and board members of The Sashbear Foundation, we have committed ourselves to being active participants in the process of Truth and Reconciliation for the Indigenous peoples of Canada. I want to invite our readers to join us in this journey of understanding the past wrongs, looking to the future with hope and contributing to the healing of relationships.

There is a true story of a little girl, her name is Jeannie Mianscum. At 7 years old, this girl was forcibly taken from her home and transported 800 kilometres away to a residential school. She was forbidden to speak her own language or have any contact with her family. She didn’t understand what was happening or why and she didn’t know if she’d ever see her family again.

Can you even imagine strangers coming into your community and taking your children away from you?

Continue reading>

Research Study Recruitment

We want to let you know about exciting research currently being conducted to learn more about the impact of BPD or emotion dysregulation on relationships. Three studies are currently recruiting: the first is for romantic partners, the second for anyone in a close relationship, and the third is for youth aged 13-21 who have a sibling with emotion dysregulation.

If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please contact the researchers directly at the emails provided below. (Click images to view enlarged flyers)

Are you close with someone who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder?

The first study will look at the experiences of people who are close to someone with BPD. This can be any type of relationship, e.g., partners, family members, spouses, friends. The person with BPD is not required to participate. You will be asked to participate in a brief online study that involves answering questions about yourself and your close other with BPD. This will involve completing three monthly questionnaires about your and your close other’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, and completing a brief measure of your feelings and your close other’s behaviours every day on your smart phone for three weeks. More information is available in the attached flier. If you are interested in participating, please email for more information.

Do you self-harm or have suicidal thoughts or urges and want treatment? Are you in a romantic relationship?

The second study is COMPASS, which is for those who have a romantic partner with BPD who is suicidal or self-harming. For this study, both partners must participate. It includes 8-12 sessions of a psychotherapy intervention. Participation is free. For more information, please download the flyer here, and contact the researchers directly:

Do you (or your child) have a sibling who struggles to manage their emotions?

The third study is for youth aged 13 to 21 who have a sibling with BPD or emotion dysregulation. For youth aged 13-17, parent or guardian consent is required. Youth aged 18-21 do not require parental consent to participate. If interested, please complete the online screening at or for more information contact Dr. Luciana Payne at

Family Connections Update

Mid-March marks a full year since we moved our in-person Family Connections™ groups online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For our January 2021 groups, we welcomed our first cohort of junior co-facilitators who have only experienced Family Connections™ online! These individuals attended summer 2020 groups and volunteered as observers in the fall, all online. They are also attending online training events that are truly international in nature, gathering via Zoom with FC leaders from other countries where NEABPD Family Connections™ is offered such as Mexico and Australia.

Delivering groups online also means that co-facilitators can team up from various regions of Canada. Many of the co-facilitation teams for our January groups have never met in person. Yet they all bring a shared commitment to the FC skills and a willingness to learn from each other. While we sometimes hear that participants find the Zoom experience tiring at the end of a long day, we also hear how grateful they are for the caring, compassion, and dedication that their group facilitators bring to these FC groups.

Would you like to join our team of volunteer Family Connections™ co-facilitators? Three times a year we welcome a new group of up to 25 observers who are starting on the development journey to become co-facilitators. If you have completed FC with good attendance, and would like to find out more, email Doreen at

Educational Webinar Series Update

Our Education Series continued in the new year with presentations by several experts, including Francheska Perepletchikova, Ph.D., and Carla Sharp, Ph.D. 

If you missed any of them, they are all available to watch online. You can find the list of past and future presentations on the website under Resources. We recommend that you subscribe to The Sashbear Foundation YouTube channel to receive notifications as new recordings are published. 

Register now for upcoming presentations:

March 31:  

Dr Anita Federici

Eating Disorders & Emotion Dysregulation:
Helping Families Navigate



April 7: 

Karen Waddell

Discover Falling Awake Mindfully:
Incorporating Present Moment Awareness to Your Day


Mindfulness Day 2021

All Sashbear Family Connections™ Leaders volunteer many hours to teach skills and give hope to those in need. We put together a presentation for you to see some of our FC leaders being mindful across the country. The presentation was released on this year's Sashbear Mindfulness Day. If you missed it, you can see it by clicking on this image:

March 10, is Sashbear Mindfulness Day… why is that important?

Mindfulness Day is an opportunity to reflect on the value of putting our focus on the present, without judgments and with the intention of paying attention to what is happening to us in this moment—in essence, to focus on living our life on this day and truly experience the full breadth of what that feels like. To do that we must notice with curiosity and with all our senses what is happening around us—no need to evaluate anything, the goal is to just participate in the moment as it is in front of us.

Continue reading>

A Valentine for Sashbear

ESWIM held a fundraiser this past February in order to raise mental health awareness and a donation for Sashbear. This year, ESWIM sold teddy bears with proceeds going to Sashbear. Even though many swimmers were not able to train in the water during February, the members still rallied together to support this great cause!

Help us continue to make waves

“[Sashbear]'s a lifeline for the drowning—giving you tools and hope to manage.”


We are sincerely grateful for your donations—for helping us make waves for mental health.

The objective of The Sashbear Foundation is to lead a mental health reform by promoting awareness for the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with emotional dysregulation. The Foundation offers Family Connections, an evidence-based group program that provides education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has emotion dysregulation or related problems. Family Connections groups meet weekly over twelve weeks, or two intensive weekends, and are offered throughout several Canadian provinces, in English and in French. 

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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