Navigating the Mental Health Storm of COVID-19

Friends, 

In talking with our wedding industry colleagues, it is clear that this latest round of COVID restrictions has deeply affected all of us. Many of us are feeling despair, hopelessness, and frustration. One year on this COVID roller coaster has significantly damaged our mental health and well-being.

We are an intimate wedding industry community in Ottawa. We all feel for each others struggles during this time. We want to help and support each other so that we can come through stronger at the end of this. 

The Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Industry Association’s wish is to be community builder. We want to help not only our paying members but our at-large friends too. 

That is why on April 14, 2021 at 7pm, the OGWIA will be hosting an OPEN TO EVERYONE evening dedicated to mental health. This is a safe place to listen to a mental health professional expert, Crystal Smalldon, who will present strategies for coping and moderate an open discussion. It will be beneficial to anyone who is struggling with the pressures that the COVID-19 situation has placed us under. Just listening to your colleagues will be helpful to you and supportive of our community.

Crystal is a current Registered Social Service Worker, Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor. Canadian Indigenous Addiction Counsellor, Canadian Certified Telemedicine Addiction Professional, Internationally Certified Drug and Alcohol Counsellor, and an associate member of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine.

In speaking with her, Crystal has hosted many events such as this one. Mental health issues are prevalent in many industry verticals and she has helped scores of people deal with the impact of COVID. She is extremely familiar with what all of us are going through. This is a not-to-be-missed event.

Action: Crystal would love to hear from you before the event to understand your concerns. Emails to her will be treated in confidence. Let her know what your concerns are. It will help her contextualize our group. Just email her at: crystal@crystalsmalldon.com

EVERYONE, JOIN US ON APRIL 14, 2021 AT 7PM

ZOOM INFO:

Ottawa Gatineau Wedding Industry Association is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Navigating the Mental Health Storm
Time: Apr 14, 2021 07:00 PM Montreal

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 812 2904 3849
Passcode: 381744
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ABOUT CRYSTAL

Crystal is an experienced Executive with extensive decades long experience and a track record of success. She attended Niagara College, Brock University, Carleton University, The University of British Columbia, and Mount Royal University, where she studied Social Service Work, Political Science, Law, and Addiction Medicine, before launching her career into Political Strategy and  Campaign Management, Emergency Disaster Leadership, and Grant Writing.  

Her success can almost always be traced back to her demonstrated professionalism, complex understanding of government operations, ability to build a winning team, deep understanding of Mental Health and Addictions and confident negotiation skills.  

Crystal is currently an appointed member of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Harm Reduction Fund, a reviewer at Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation on the Innovation and Research Panel as well as the Solutions Lab funding panel, and a reviewer for Canada’s Volunteer Awards.  

She is a board member at MacKay Manor. Mackay Manor is a residential recovery home for men who have alcohol and drug-related problems. This facility has 12-Level 1 and 4-Level 2 beds.  

Crystal is the Executive Director of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation as well as the Chair of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. IC&RC promotes public protection by setting standards and developing exams for credentialing prevention, substance use treatment, and recovery professionals. Organized in 1981, it has a worldwide network of over 50,000 professionals while the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation promotes and supports mental health and addiction services across Canada while promoting protection of the public through regulatory processes for service providers. Crystal created Canada’s first and busiest Mental Health and Addictions Telemedicine platform currently operating during Covid as a free service with unlimited access to counsellors across Canada for every Canadian.  

Crystal created The Kanata, Carp, And Stittsville Stocking Project 7 years ago, where she rallies the community together each year during the holiday season and provides gifts to those in the community who are least expecting it. These recipients are surprised with elves who show up at their house with armfuls of gifts after being referred by other community members for some joy during the holiday season after a particularly difficult year.  

Crystal also runs a private practice addiction counselling and mental health counselling  office and conducts personal, confidential, crisis counselling weekly.  

Previous to these appointments, Crystal spent 10 years with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Government in roles ranging from Executive Coordinator to Funding creator, to Campaign Manager.  She also spent 13 months on the Draft Joe Biden Campaign as the Director of State Outreach.  

Crystal spent 15 years with the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services as a team leader. In this role, Crystal was responsible for managing the teams of emergency responders, attached to Ottawa Fire Services. When there was a fire in the city that displaced residents, Crystal was responsible to coordinate a full approach to assisting the families through the trauma and tragedy that a fire brings. Concurrently, Crystal was the elected President of Ottawa Police Services Neighbourhood Watch Program and remains a member of the Board of Directors.  

Crystal is a current Registered Social Service Worker, Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor. Canadian Indigenous Addiction Counsellor, Canadian Certified Telemedicine Addiction Professional, Internationally Certified Drug and Alcohol Counsellor, and an associate member of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine.  

Crystal is a proud Indigenous woman of Abenaki decent and lives and works on unceded Algonquin Anishinabek territory with her 2 teenage daughters Cassidy and Alyssa, but she can rarely be found sitting still and not initiating some creative campaign to help someone.  

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