Session is meant to change lives

At first glance, it looks like just another touchy-feelie training seminar.

A soft service.

But the two-day Handle with Care session, in Three Hills Sept. 6, with its focus on promoting the mental health of young children, was anything but.

From across south central
Alberta, 20 caregivers
and service providers
converged on the Family
and Community Support
Services (FCSS) office
in Three Hills on Thurs.
Sept. 6 for a two-day
training session that
taught the importance of
children’s mental health.
Participants, from the
left, Tanya Heyden-Kaye
and Andrea Ramage from
Ponoka, with facilitators
Debra Kapaniuk and
Sherri Carriere. D.Nadeau

Facilitators Sherri Carriere and Debra Kapaniuk said we have no problem paying attention to a child’s physical health with good food, exercise and sleep, so it makes sense to balance that with the nitty-gritty of good mental health.

This includes building trust and attachment, self-esteem, properly expressing emotions and relationships with others.

Kapaniuk, originally from Standard, Ab., was brought to the training session from Whitehorse, Yukon by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Director Shelley Jackson. Fellow presenter Carriere lives east of Tofield, Ab. FCSS Director Jackson said her interest in bringing the training sessions to Three Hills goes back a long way.


“I knew the program was active in many places across the nation,” she said, “but there was hardly any of it in Alberta. It’s a great program and I knew it would make a difference here.”

Participants enjoyed a variety of activities and interactions, based on a textbook produced by a Toronto-based children’s mental health centr.


David Nadeau

ECA Review

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