Visiting a resident at one of my favourite places, the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, in Guelph.
Hi, I'm Sarah Stewart.
I am a Registered Social Worker (OCSWSSW) and a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor (Basic and Youth courses) with Mental Health First Aid Canada. I'm also a Compassion Fatigue Educator, Certified Coach of Gentle Persuasive Approaches to dementia care, and I’ve developed trainings on trauma-informed practice, debriefing teams, promoting mental health in the workplace, and more.
I started Open Minds in order to work in a way that supports my own mental health needs while promoting mental health literacy. I’ve facilitated trainings for corporations, human resources providers, social services staff, legal professionals, agricultural workers, youth leaders engaged in decolonization and reconciliation work, faith-based volunteers, peer workers, and many others. I know that mental health can be tough to talk about, and that we sometimes need guidance on how to do so with confidence and skill. I believe there are no stupid questions, and that learning environments can be transformative spaces when we let ourselves be challenged and open-minded!
I have been privileged to work in community development, front-line client service, community mental health, curriculum development, and facilitation, in Victoria, B.C., Toronto, Guelph, and Halton. In those roles I’ve presented on a number of topics, from sex workers’ rights to wellness for helping professionals. I’m passionate about encouraging practical, trauma-informed, and open-minded approaches to all kinds of work.
I grew up in the Maritimes and now live with my partner and fur-family in Guelph, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral). I continue to learn about the impact of colonization in this country and what decolonization can look like, and try to put this into practice in my day to day life.
Questions? Please get in touch! I look forward to meeting you.