Hi, I'm Sarah Stewart: owner and lead trainer.
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’m proud to be an Associate of TEND, an organization offering resources and training to address the complex needs of high stress, trauma-exposed workplaces.
I started Open Minds, my business nom de plume, in order to work in a way that supports my own mental health needs while promoting mental health literacy. I’ve facilitated trainings for corporate employees, social services staff, legal professionals, farmers, youth leaders, volunteers, peer and community workers, early childhood and adult educators, 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 curious!
I have been privileged to work in community development, front-line client service, community mental health, curriculum development, and facilitation across Canada. I’m passionate about encouraging practical, trauma-informed, and open-minded approaches to all kinds of work. I practice social justice-centred approaches to teaching, facilitation, and consulting work.
I grew up in sweet little Sackville, N.B. and now live with my partner Eric and our fur-family in Guelph, Ontario, which is subject to the Dish with One Spoon covenant. This is the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral) and Haudenosaunee people and is Treaty 3 territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. I continue to learn about the legacy of colonization in this country and what decolonization can look like, and try to put change into practice in my personal life and work. I also spend lots of time in my garden, my cozy reading chair, any swimmable water, and with friends and family.
Questions? Please get in touch! I look forward to meeting you.
One more thing! Special thanks to my team:
My spiffy website was created and edited by Arts & Drafts.
Open Minds was started with a grant from the 2017 Rhyze Award .