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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Health & Wellness

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Ontario Tech employees have many opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to advance in their careers. Managers and supervisors are encouraged to support their staff in pursuit of professional development and personal growth in order to contribute to a positive and productive work environment.

Resources additional to the professional development sessions below can be found on the Healthy Workplace Webpages.

October 2021

  • Resiliency

    Title: Resiliency
    Date: Thursday, October 7
    Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

    Resiliency is being okay.

    Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe has worked for nearly two decades researching, teaching and advocating to come upon this idea. Today will be okay. We are okay. And being okay is enough. Our survival rate for difficult things is 100%. Despite all the noise that says okay is not enough, being okay is the heart of authentic resiliency. Being resilient means, we are okay during a set back, challenge or a crisis and we are okay on the other side of it. How we get to and stay okay varies but the practice of continuing to push forward, even when it is hard, is a choice. Resiliency lives within us all. The only difference between those who can keep getting up after adversity and those who struggle with it, is knowing how to draw on this resource in times of need. This can be taught and Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe will show you how.

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Learn how to draw on resources in times of need.
    • Identify and understand how to address obstacles that derail us and keep us stuck.
    • Able  to enact our resiliency through stories, research, and practical strategies.

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register

  • Feeling Safe and Engaged: Returning to the Workplace

    Feeling Safe and Engaged: Returning to the Workplace
    Date: Friday, October 1
    Time: noon to 1 p.m.
    Presenter: Lise Leroux from LifeWorks
    Location: Google Meet
    Audience: All full time and limited term employees

    This workshop will allow participants to examine several dimensions related to the return to the workplace in the context of COVID-19 and its variants. LifeWorks will address physical health and safety, psychological health, expected behaviours for your role, and effective communication in order to facilitate the transition.

    As our work environment continues to change and adapt, we need to consider the conversations people are going to potentially have which involve conflict. Are people ready for the conversations with colleagues who believe differently than they do about vaccines, social distancing, etc? There is so much room for conflict here, and we have to be ready for that. Lise will provide you with the tools to politely tell someone that you're uncomfortable with what they're doing, as well as ways to respond if you're the one someone has told you're doing something they don't like. The approach of how to "agree to disagree," will be covered as well as facing anxiety incrementally rather than letting it beat you!

    During this seminar, participants will explore:

    • Preparing for a safe return to the office; understand protocols and expectations
    • Taking care of your emotional health in preparation for my return to the workplace
    • Changing routines and adapting to new expectations
    • Adopting an effective communication
    • Accessing resources for support

    Facilitator bio:

    Lise Leroux has extensive experience in the design and delivery of highly effective leadership, management, customer service, communication, health and wellness training and coaching for international companies such as the Cabinet Office (UK), NASA, Expedia, Vodafone, Boeing, Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and BBC. She is a certified coach, as well as NLP, DiSC, and Prince2 practitioner. She is a published writer and immersive theatre playwright and in her spare time, is a wedding officiant who marries people "in movement," whether that be by helicopter, yacht, or zip line.

    Learning and development has remained her focus throughout her entire career because of her belief that we can learn how to do anything if we have the right motivation, tools, and a facilitator who can bring a topic alive. Lise has worked in multiple countries around the world, and prides herself on always bringing authenticity, interactivity, fun, and results to every session.

    Register


November 2021

  • Goal Setting

    Title: Goal Setting
    Date: Wednesday, November 11
    Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

    January, Mondays, the first of the month, new seasons, new semesters, new jobs – they all seem to lend
    themselves to fresh starts! However, as you already know, many people struggle to maintain behaviours changes despite their best efforts. In this session Dr. Robyne will explore the principles of behaviour changes for lasting change (really!)

    Resilient individuals maintain focus on their goals even when faced with a challenge. Hanley-Dafoe suggests that leaders can help employees with this by adding an “O” for obstacles when setting S.M.A.R.T. objectives. “You need to identify obstacles. In a marathon, you hit a wall, your muscles get tired and your body spikes a fever. Runners who know about the wall pass through it in five minutes. Those who don’t, stop their run because they think they are having a heart attack. If you identify obstacles upfront, you can problem solve and figure them out.”

    Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of all facets of your life. 

    Through this workshop, participants will learn tactical strategies for moving people through the stages of change with goal setting. 

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register


January 2022

  • Self-Care

    Title: Self-Care
    Date: Thursday, January 20
    Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

    You can achieve success and neglect self-care, but you will not be able to maintain success with no self-care action plan. Self-care is essential for both personal and professional wellness and balance. In this session Dr. Robyne will explain and demonstrate the practice of determining your non-negotiables, and the craft of boundary setting. We will also discuss how to have difficult conversations.

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register

  • Resilience

    Title: Resilience
    Date: Wednesday, January 26
    Time: 10 a.m. to noon
    Company: Durham Mental Health Services
    Facilitator: David Clarke

    Resilience is the capacity to bounce back physically, mentally and emotionally from adversity. The great news is that all of us have it, it can always be enhanced, and researchers know more about how we can do so than ever before.

    This 2-hour workshop on ways to strengthen our capacity for resilience uses current research to answer such questions as: What are the psychological and behavioural foundations of resilience? How can I maintain a resilient outlook? What is post-traumatic growth? How can I move from being a victim of circumstances to a survivor to a change-maker in my life?

    As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Understand the psychological and behavioural foundations of resilience.
    • Learn a variety of simple, practical ways to enhance their own individual resilience.
    • Learn how to promote resilience among the members of any group they belong to (family, work, community).
    • Learn about the exciting research on the phenomenon of post-traumatic growth.
    • See how to take an empowered and proactive stance in response to adversity,

    Facilitator Bio:

    David Clarke is Coordinator of Communications and Training with Durham Mental Health Services. He has worked locally in community mental health for over 20 years as a case worker, a program supervisor, and now in his current role. David has delivered educational presentations to organizations including Ontario Shores for Mental Health Sciences, the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the Region of Durham, and the Whitby Chamber of Commerce.

    Register


February 2022

  • Work Life Balance

    Title: Work Life Balance
    Date: Thursday, February 24
    Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanley - Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley - Dafoe

    This presentation introduces the concept of self-identity and the many roles we hold as professionals, while also maintaining and nurturing our personal roles such as partners, parents, care givers and friends. Based on research, this session explores how professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners, educators, and even cooperate executives can successfully build boundaries and self-care, with productivity. Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe will explore the benefits and challenges of holding professional roles while sharing practical and sustainable best practices for striking this ever-elusive balance.

    Robyne uses her Top 10 Tips for ‘Life with Work Balance’ principles that are research informed and readily available to all of us. You have to be well to stay well, and ultimately perform well. In this session, Dr. Robyne will explore how to maximize performance while also cultivating balance. The session will also include strategies for optimizing work changes including working remotely, hybrid working models and ever-changing expectations and demand.

    Participants will learn how to transform common knowledge into common practice. Robyne’s talk shares candid encounters with personal value identifiers and how practical practices can promote healthy habits and deep joy in your work through the fostering a steadfast sense of personal alignment and purpose with our work.

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register


March 2022

  • Safe Talk

    Title: Safe Talk
    Date: Wednesday, March 2
    Time: 9 a.m. to noon
    Facilitator: Jack Veitch

    safeTALK is a three-hour LivingWorks’® suicide alertness program that prepares community members to be suicide alert helpers. safeTALK participants will learn that that opportunities to help a person with thoughts of suicide are sometimes missed, dismissed and avoided.  Participants will learn the TALK steps - Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep Safe, and will learn to activate a suicide alert.

    As a part of the Keep Safe step, participants will learn how to connect persons with suicidal thoughts to local professionals trained in suicide intervention, such as Student Mental Health Services or Durham Mental Health Services.

    The Canadian Mental Health Association - Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge will provide this safeTALK training, which can be helpful for faculty, staff, parents and everyone!

    Register

  • Stress

    Title: Stress
    Date: Wednesday, March 9
    Time: 10 a.m. to noon
    Company: Durham Mental Health Associates
    Facilitator: David Clarke

    Stress is a fact of life for everyone – but some ways of managing it are more sustainable and health-promoting than others. What causes stress, and how can we manage the sources of stress in our own lives more effectively? This lively and interactive presentation provides insight into what stress is all about, insights participants then apply to the stressful situations in their own lives. The session includes opportunities to practice calming our minds, relaxing our bodies, and wisely responding to pressures and demands, whatever their source or intensity. 

    As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:
    • Recognize how stress affects them physically, mentally, and behaviorally.
    • Recognize how they let "bad stress" inside through the stories they tell about themselves and their situations.
    • Learn a variety of strategies and skills to change their stories and effectively manage personal stressors.

    Facilitator Bio:

    David Clarke is Coordinator of Communications and Training with Durham Mental Health Services. He has worked locally in community mental health for over 20 years as a case worker, a program supervisor, and now in his current role. David has delivered educational presentations to organizations including Ontario Shores for Mental Health Sciences, the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the Region of Durham, and the Whitby Chamber of Commerce.

    register

  • Team

    Title: Team
    Date: Thursday, March 24
    Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

    Successful organizations have employees who care deeply about the work and support the mission. In this
    session, Dr. Robyne will examine what it takes to be an engaged team member and how to show up everyday. Working in changing formats has taken its toll on collaboration and employees feeling connected however, with intention and a plan, we can re-energize our team for optimal performance.
     
    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn the skills required to maximize the performance of each of the individuals on your team.
    • Understand human behaviour and discover the mystery behind the aptitudes in human relations and create better relationships and stronger teams.
    • Explore how to use team building activities and exercises as part of an ongoing strategy for developing a strong and effective team.
    • Explore how employees contribute to successful teams through individual efforts.

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register


April 2022

  • Raising Resilient Children

    Title: Raising Resilient Children
    Date: Thursday, April 7
    Time: 1 to 2p.m.
    Company: Dr. Robyne Hanely-Dafoe
    Facilitator: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

    Raising resilient children is not a destination, it’s a journey. If we can help our kids find resiliency, we know they’ll be prepared for future success in the world no matter what life throws at them. Resilience is essential for coping with risk factors, challenges, uncertainty and stress, as well as for building positive mental health, emotional wellbeing, social relationships and academic achievement. Research supports that when children are resilient, they are braver, more curious, more adaptable, and more able to extend their reach into the world.

    Through this workshop, participants will discover the principles of building resiliency, some steps that families can take to help kids as well as explore everyday tips, practices, sustainable solutions, and age-appropriate goals to developing resiliency as outlined in The Guide to Resilient Children.

    There will be an 'Ask Anything!' segment at the end of this session.

    Facilitator Bio:

    Dr. Robyne specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace and schools. Her writing and research takes a refreshing approach that looks at resiliency from multiple vantage points with the aim of being fully accessible to everyone – applying her own insights from juggling a successful career with family and raising three children.

    Register


Resources:

BEACON is a personalized digital mental and behavioural health therapy service guided by registered mental health professionals and accessible from the privacy of your own home. BEACON is available free of charge for all Ontarians during COVID-19 (funded by the Government of Ontario).