Professional development (PD) has always been an important part of ARAISA and provides excellent value to our members. PD events help member agencies’ staff improve their skills, stay up-to-date with the latest knowledge and trends, and network with their peers. Ultimately these events contribute to the successful settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in Atlantic Canada.

ARAISA fall 2019 professional development: a focus on mental health
In March 2019, our annual member survey indicated topics related to mental health and wellness, such as trauma-informed approach and self-care, as top priorities for professional development. Our members spoke, and we listened! That’s why ARAISA decided to focus on mental health for its fall 2019 professional development event: Trauma & Resilience-Informed Approach to Mental Health.

This 2.5-day event was designed for our members’ settlement and integration staff from across the Atlantic region. The goal was to increase organizations’ capacity and effectiveness to address the mental health needs of workers, immigrants and refugees.

When one thinks of a newcomer’s immigration journey, it does not come as a surprise that many immigrants and refugees are struggling with mental health issues. How do front line workers address those issues? What is their role? What can they do? How can they also protect and take care of themselves? The Trauma & Resilience -Informed Approach to Mental Health professional development event brought concrete answers to staff everyday concerns.

Keynote speakers, panels, workshops and roundtable discussions provided opportunities to gain new knowledge, strategies, and skills in a supportive peer environment. Participants also had the chance to network and collaborate with other colleagues from across the Atlantic region.

We are currently working on the report of the event, and we will publish it soon.

Event information
What: Resilience and Trauma-Informed Approach to Mental Health
When: Tuesday, October 8 to Thursday, October 10, 2019
Where: The Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Hotel, Halifax, NS