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Dianne Shannon Art Therapy

RCAT #223-R-17 MA

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Professional Development

Suicide prevention for children and youth

The ASK workshop for assessing suicide in children and youth aged 5-14 years just wrapped up. Thanks to ABK Wellness for an informative and relevant workshop that covered topics such as warning flags, protective factors, coping styles, and approaches for having conversations about suicide with young people and families. Even though death by suicide among youth under 14 years of age is not common – 46 were recorded in 2018* – suicide is on the minds of many young people who come to art therapy and, understandably, a very big concern for their families. The ASK workshop provided me with additional tools and information to better support young people and their families when suicide is a concern.

For more information about the workshop visit: https://www.abkwellness.ca/assessing-suicide-in-kids

*For more information about youth and suicide visit: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/children-and-suicide/

In response to people of all ages who I’ve met and are at risk of suicide, I designed a business-card-size safety plan to be easily available – for example in a pocket or wallet – when someone has thoughts of suicide. You’re welcome to download and print the card for anyone who might benefit from having a reminder of personal resources and 24/7 help lines close at hand: https://dianneshannonarttherapy.ca/resources/

Addiction studies done!

Just received marks for my final class of Mount Royal University’s Addiction Studies Extension Certificate. I took this program to better support the many individuals who come to art therapy and have experienced some aspect of addiction. The six online classes covered topics such as the effects of addictions on individuals, youth, families, and the brain as well as concurrent disorders and treatment.

Something I’ve noticed over the years is that there doesn’t seem to be enough support for youth who have an addicted parent, so I’m pleased to pass along a link that was shared in class to a guide produced by Starlings in Calgary:

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