Event Cover Image
Event Image
The Rotary Club of West Ottawa along with partners Rideauwood, Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), United Way and Youth Services Bureau are hosting a half day event on April 27, 2024 focused on helping families deal with mental health issues in their children. This is one of Rotary International's President Gordon McInally's main themes for his Presidential year. The event is FREE but you MUST purchase TWO tickets when you register due to limited space. CHOOSE ONLY ONE TICKET for SESSION 1: 1A, 1B OR 1C CHOOSE ONLY ONE TICKET for SESSION 2: 2A, 2B OR 2C
8:30 – 8:45 am Plenary Session - Opening Remarks & housekeeping - Rotary Club of West Ottawa President Marcia Armstrong
8:45 – 10 am – Session 1 - Registrants MUST choose ONLY ONE of 3 options (1A, 1B or 1C) for Session 1:
1-A.     Angela Lorusso – “Take A Stance: A Bullying Prevention and Intervention Workshop: Everyone Has A Role to Play”. Bullying is a serious and complex issue with devastating effects on victims, those who bully, and bystanders. Research demonstrates that community and school-based interventions can reduce the level of peer-to-peer bullying. Using a community development model, participants will learn the dynamics of bullying with a specific emphasis on prevention and intervention. We will also explore the definition of bullying (including cyberbullying), facts, and warning signs and provide practical tools and strategies for building sustainable partnerships and relationships with children, parents, schools, police, and the community.
1-B. Talking to Youth about Substance Use and Behavioural AddictionsLorna Jackson, Assistant Manager, and Heather Simon, Clinical Manager, Youth and Young Adult program, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services,  present the most up-to-date, evidence-based approaches to prevention, education, and treatment. Parents and caregivers will learn ways to engage effectively with youth in their lives on this important health issue, in addition to helpful resources to support youth and their loved ones.
1-C. Body Image “Helping a young person with an eating disorder”–Leah Paul, Youth and Family Counsellor, Youth Services Bureau:.  This presentation will include what to look out for, tips and tricks in supporting a young person with an eating disorder and an interactive session.  Additional resources will be provided. 
10-11 am Extended coffee break – Information table visits
An hour long coffee break for registrants to visit the information tables set up by various organizations dealing with youth mental health issues.
11am -12:15 pm - Session 2 - Registrants MUST choose ONLY ONE of 3 options (2A, 2B or 2C) for Session 2:
2-A      Dr. Ian Manion – “Parents Navigating Youth Mental Health: What to Look for and What to Do” In this interactive session, Dr. Manion will talk about the signs and symptoms of emerging mental health issues in young people.  The emphasis will be on what parents can do to support their youth and to better foster resilience.  Significant time will allow for dialogue with participants as they raise general issues where more guidance would be beneficial.
2-B     Dr. Laura Armstrong – "Strategies to Promote Child Mental Health: A Hands-On Workshop" Participants will learn a "toolbox" of strategies that can help children ages 5-12 develop skills for resilience. Some of these strategies come from our school and community-based mental health education program called D.R.E.A.M. (Developing Resilience through Emotions, Attitudes and Meaning). These strategies have been found to reduce behavioural concerns, increase social-emotional literacy skills, enhance emotional well-being, as well as build Meaning Mindset (agency over thoughts and behaviours; hope for the future; positive self-concept; and openness to learning, feelings, and other new experiences). Come prepared to have fun!
2-C. Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario - Join a family peer supporter from Pleo-Parents’ Lifelines, to look at how parents/caregivers of children with mental health challenges can find their way forward.
12:15 – 1pm - Closing plenary  Emily Balla, Program Manager, Mental Health Services, Ottawa Carleton District School Board, will moderate a session with three young people who have successfully navigated the system.
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON


Marcia Armstrong


Ginette Thomas