Healing Frontline Workers

$8,511 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 103 people in 31 months
Grief and trauma hurt.

Your donation contributes to healing  grief and trauma and building resilience amongst frontline workers. It helps them continue their important work.

Members of Toronto’s Frontline Worker community have experienced numerous and repeated losses over the course of this year. Due to the ongoing overdose crisis that has taken the lives of partners, friends, family, colleagues, and clients, many are now facing an extreme depth of grief and experiencing symptoms of trauma. As community leaders and supporters, frontline workers have been present from the beginning of this epidemic and continue to be present in the lives of Toronto residents while they navigate loss and its impacts. 

The Frontline Worker Support Group (FWSG) continues to provide a monthly space for the challenge of this crisis to be held in compassion and dignity. We have seen a great spirit of resilience and renewal flourish from this group, yet there are many things we cannot provide.

Grief and trauma hurt our ability to be effective in our work and in caring for ourselves. Left unchecked, grief increases people's vulnerability to harm. Grief depletes hope, strength, and energy. It resides on the emotional, mental, and physical levels in ways that are often hard to pin point or speak to. FWSG is looking towards full spectrum holistic solutions for frontline workers during this important time.

You can help frontline workers stay healthy and present for your community. The Frontline Worker Support Group of Toronto has partnered with Six Degrees Health Centre to provide emergency trauma and grief support services.  

The conditions of work further compound the stress experienced by frontline workers coping with crisis. Many frontline workers are being asked to work on contracts without benefits, and those who have been hired for their lived experience still rely on social assistance as primary source of income. The vast majority are unable to access services that are seen as important for well-being. Due to the ongoing austerity measures imposed across the health and community sector, these services are out of reach.

A holistic response to grief and trauma includes community-practiced massage and acupuncture, which serve to remove stress hormones, increase the immune and respiratory systems, as well as erode the physical complications caused by engaging with extreme stressors. These complimentary therapies are consistently effective for helping people struggling with grief, PTSD, depression, anxiety, pain, and stress. 

The Frontline Workers Support Group  has asked Six Degrees Health Centre ( http://sixdegreeshealth.ca) to partner with them to increase access to holistic health services for frontline workers. This initiative has come from the harm reduction community.

Your donation will go towards:

- offering assessments and treatments using modalities such as acupuncture, NADA, massage, somatic bodywork, and more (community acupuncture/bodywork=$30/session; private=$65-100; NADA=$15/1 session; $65 for 5 sessions)

- running an 8 week Grief Integration Group for 10-12 participants (approximately $45/person/session)

- running a health and wellness day for harm reduction workers, which includes workshops on managing stress, and dealing with grief, as well as treatments like massages and acupuncture.

Your donation contributes to healing and resilience, and helps frontline workers continue their important work to support people while we are in the depths of this overdose crisis.

What is the Frontline Worker Support Group?

The Frontline Worker Support Group was founded to help frontline workers who are struggling to cope with
the losses of people they know and work with, and who are overwhelmed by efforts to balance their workloads and practice self-care. The group offers a monthly guided meeting for people looking for support from workers across Toronto. We come together as shelter workers, drop in and outreach workers, needle exchange workers, clinicians, peer support workers, volunteers (etc.) to speak about the realities of our roles and find support from one another. We hope to create a space that looks for healing and balance, strategies for managing workloads and self care, and to build peer to peer support. (For more information, please see: https://www.facebook.com/frontlineworkersg/?hc_ref=SEARCH)

Why Six Degrees Health Centre?

This initiative comes from the Toronto harm reduction community. Members from the harm reduction community have chosen to partner with Six Degrees Health Centre because they offer a safe, non-judgmental, supportive environment in which they offer a range of modalities that are effective for helping people with PTSD, grief, anxiety, and depression. Six Degrees is a community-based healing centre and they apply the principle that "sharing space and offering affordable rates creates much-needed access to health care and promotes sustainable health maintenance". For more information, please see http://sixdegreeshealth.ca/vision-and-beliefs/

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We are relaunching this campaign after taking more than a year off of raising funds for this community care initiative. Our first fund-raising campaign raised almost $2000 and this went directly to provide frontline workers and community members impacted by the overdose crisis with a variety of healing modalities, provided by Six Degrees Community Acupuncture. Now, a year and half later, we are looking to replenish this fund. The overdose crisis has not ended, and the amount of work that community members have invested in addressing this crisis is tremendous! In the past year, community members opened the Overdose Prevention Site in Toronto and fought for the immediate opening of supervised injection sites and more overdose prevention sites. The crisis continues, the work is ongoing, and the grief and trauma people face need to be addressed. Please consider contributing to this community care initiative. Heart-felt thanks for all forms of support!
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Today is the National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis. Your donation is a demonstration of support for the workers who are responding to this crisis, helping to protect people and grieving those whose lives have been lost. Thank you for your support and solidarity.
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Thank you to all of you who have donated to this fund. It makes a difference in the lives of Toronto's frontline workers! We need to make this a sustainable initiative and we need to spread the word to encourage more people to contribute what they can. Please consider sharing the link to this site: https://www.gofundme.com/HealingFrontlineWorkers
Thank you again for your support!
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Can we raise another $285 by midnight? Thank you to all of you who have donated money to the Healing Frontline Workers initiative. Some stats so far: 30 people have donated money that now equals $1715, which provides 57 bodywork sessions or pays for 4 people to attend an 8 week Grief Integration group plus 9 body work session; or 26 packages of 5 NADA sessions. This is fantastic! In addition to raising money, together we have spread the word about the need for frontline workers to access support for grief and trauma. This campaign has been shared 444 times on Facebook, and the Frontline Worker Support Group has had new members join. Thank you for your support - through your donation, your publicizing the campaign, your words of solidarity. Let's see if we can reach $2000 by the end of 2016!
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$8,511 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 103 people in 31 months
Created December 13, 2016
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2 days ago
Bernard King
10 days ago

The work you do is so important, and you need to be cared for, too.

Claudia Calabro
15 days ago
Debra Yeo Boland
15 days ago
QT Yoga
7 months ago
Marin Boyle
9 months ago
Derek Denis
9 months ago
Meera Sethi
9 months ago
Joshua DeLarge
9 months ago
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