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Staying Connected when Emotions Run High

This initiative is delivered by Dr Annemaree Bickerton (Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist) and Toni Garretty (Team/Clinical Coordinator) for the Family & Carer Mental Health Program within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

Staying Connected When Emotions Run High is a set of Five Key Strategies empowering others to be a resource to a person in distress.  Through learning about the typical relationship patterns, “fear and worry dances”, which instinctively activate between closely connected humans in distress, Staying Connected highlights alternative strategies for a “Good Enough Dance”, which is “contagious with calm”.   Safety planning “like a fire drill” is another key component of the intervention.  A DVD highlights the dances and strategies with associated interactive activities.

Selecting The Correct Workshop To Meet Your Needs:

Family and Carer Intervention: A full day workshop for families and carers supporting a person,  aged 12 years to 100 years, who has changeable and overwhelming emotions, experiences relationship difficulties and/or displays impulsive or destructive behaviour such as violence, self-harm and suicidal behaviours. These symptoms are commonly experienced by persons with mental health, substance use, developmental and learning disorders.

Introductory Professional Workshop: A full day highly interactive workshop introducing professionals to the Staying Connected Frameworks and Strategies.  The participants will be invited to think about how they might utilise the strategies to manage their own “dances” in their professional roles and how they can educate families and carers and clients about these strategies as well. Suitable for those working in private and public sector across health, education, aged care, disability, community services, child protection and emergency services. A Certificate of completion is available to Professionals at the completion of the full workshop.

Workshops for families, foster carers and friends

“Staying Connected when Emotions Run High” - a workshop for families, foster carers and friends.

This initiative is delivered by Dr Annemaree Bickerton (Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist) and Toni Garretty (Team/Clinical Coordinator) for the Family & Carer Mental Health Program within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

The workshop will provide families, foster carers and friends with additional relationship skills to support someone (between 12yrs to 100yrs) who experiences any of the following:

  • Has relationship difficulties
  • Demonstrates changing emotions and strong overwhelming feelings that may make communication difficult
  • Sometimes behaves in a way that makes them a danger to themselves or others

The aim of the workshop is to empower families with skills, knowledge and hope. The “fictional” mother and daughter characters in the film demonstrate the “Four Carer Dances” inviting families to identify their role in the relationship process. The Five Key Relationship Strategies are introduced to assist family members in being A “Good Enough” Carer.  The “Good Enough” Carer then demonstrates putting safety first in scenarios when distress and risk escalate.

This intervention has been delivered to over 3,300 families and carers including parents, grandparents, spouses, partners, siblings, children (18yrs and over) who have supported people with various diagnoses including, Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Bi Polar, Depression, Anxiety, school refusal, intellectual disability etc.

Attending a workshop

Staying Connected for families:

Hosted by Illawarra Shoalhaven Mental Health

Tuesday 21 August
930 - 1530
Nowra
Phone Aftercare FACES Nowra
4422 1547

Tuesday 16 October
930 – 1530
Port Kembla
Phone Aftercare FACES Wollongong
4229 7254

Hosted by Aftercare Faces

Tuesday 27 March
930 – 1530
Gymea Sutherland
Phone Aftercare FACES 
8287 6820

Wednesday 24 October
Club Central Hurstville
930 – 1530pm
Phone Aftercare FACES Email danielle.carson@aftercare.com.au or
Ph 8287 6810

Hosted by Parramatta Mission

Thursday 5 April
930 – 1530
Nth Sydney
Phone Parramatta Mission
8599 4855

Thursday 16 August
930 – 1530
Parramatta
Phone Parramatta Mission
8599 4880

Thursday 19 July
930 – 1530
Gosford
Phone Parramatta Mission
4322 1855
Flyer

Thursday 20 July
830 – 1630
Gosford
Phone Parramatta Mission
4322 1855
Flyer

Thursday 13 September
930 – 1530
Penrith
Phone Parramatta Mission
8880 8160

Thursday 13 September
930 – 1530
Penrith
Phone Parramatta Mission
8880 8160

Hosted by Hunter New England Mental Health

Friday 27 July
930 – 1530
Tamworth
Email: Ebonee Byrnes
Phone: 4925 7920
Flyer

Thursday 18 October
930 – 1530
Newcastle
Email: Ebonee Byrnes
Phone: 4925 7920

If interested in attending, please select your desired location and date from the list and register your attendance with the contact person. 

Workshops for professionals  

“Staying Connected When Emotions Run High” workshops for professionals.  

This full day workshop is delivered by Dr Annemaree Bickerton (Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist) and Toni Garretty (Team/Clinical Coordinator) for the Family & Carer Mental Health within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. The workshop is intended for those working within Mental Health, Generalist Health, Drug and Alcohol, Government Organisations, FaCS, Schools and Non-Government Organisations.

This training aims to provide professionals a comprehensive overview of the “Staying Connected When Emotions Run High” frameworks (incorporating both content and theory) and invite someone assisting a dysregulated person to “look in the mirror” and manage their own distress as the first step in caring for others. Thus professionals both “walk in the shoes of family” but are also invited to look at their own reactivity and ways professionals, like families, can inadvertently get caught in pouring fuel on the fire with “contagious distress”.

The training package is a mix of didactic, film, workbook, small group activities and role plays demonstrated by the facilitators to highlight the relational context, to increase understanding of the patient journey/experience for the purpose of developing coping strategies for families, carers and professionals.

The introduction of "Safety Planning" to promote safety when distress or risk escalates is demonstrated through film. Professionals are asked to notice strategies used to deescalate the person in distress when viewing scenes of a mother daughter when anger escalates, non – suicidal self-injury is used to relieve distress and when a life threatening attempt is made.

Throughout the day professionals are:

  • encouraged to consider the whole of family approach to remain non-judgemental and neutral.
  • given tips to ensure strong partnership and engagement with colleagues, patients/clients and families.
  • provided helpful tools and strategies to decrease distress.
  • reminded of their own needs to self-care

Professionals will receive a workbook and on completion of the training will receive a certificate recording 6.5hrs for their CPD.

Attending a workshop

Staying Connected for professionals:

Hosted by Illawarra Shoalhaven Mental Health

Tuesday 31 July
830 - 1630
Nowra
Layla Weiss or phone 42207921

Tuesday 4 September
830 – 1630
Port Kembla
Toni Garretty

Hosted by Parramatta Mission

Friday 6 April
830 – 1630
Nth Sydney
Phone Parramatta Mission
8599 4855

Friday 17 August
830 – 1630
Parramatta
Phone Parramatta Mission
8599 4880

Friday 20 July
830 – 1630
Gosford
Phone Parramatta Mission
4322 1855

Wednesday 12 September
830 – 1630
Penrith
Phone Parramatta Mission
8880 8160

Hosted by Hunter New England Mental Health

Thursday 26 July
830 – 1630
Tamworth
Email: Ebonee Byrnes
Flyer

Friday 19 October
830 – 1630
Newcastle
Email: Ebonee Byrnes

  

Staying conected - the lighthouse