Registration is open for KPR’s annual Parent Conference, to be held Saturday, October 18, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Bowmanville HS.

The conference is free, as always.

This year’s theme is Making Connections for Mental Health.  Keynote speaker, singer and actor Lesley Andrew will offer a presentation on Beating the Odds.  Participants also will be able to choose two workshops from about a dozen possibilities, tour information booths of community organizations that support families’ mental health, and enjoy free child minding for children aged two and older.

For registrations details, visit

Workshop Descriptions

75-Minute Workshops (Please choose two):

ABCs of Mental Health (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenter: Bethann Levinson, Assistant Director Community Education Programs, The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre/Gail Appel Institute

Parents and teachers often have questions about the behaviour of children and teens. They may worry about whether a behaviour is appropriate for a particular age, or a sign that something might be wrong. They may wonder why it is occurring, and how best to respond. The ABCs of Mental Health is an invaluable, online resource to help answer these questions.  The ABCs of Mental Health also offers practical suggestions for steps parents can take with their child.


The ADHD Brain: Helping Children Learn (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenter: Wendy Kelly, Psycho-Educational Clinician, KPR

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is caused by changes in the brain that affect how a child thinks, acts and responds emotionally. These differences in the brain often affect learning as well. This workshop will describe the key brain-related problems that students with ADHD experience, and ways that parents and teachers can help them.


Anxiety in Children (Elementary)

Presenters: Christine Flindall and Suzanne Steele, School Board Counsellors

Anxiety is a common problem among children, and can affect children’s ability to learn, have fun, and do the things they want to do. This workshop will provide information about anxiety as well as strategies that parents can use to help children take control of anxious feelings.
Anxiety in Teens (Secondary)

Presenters: Tara Horsman-Downer, Psycho-educational Clinician, KPR

Parenting teens is both a wonderful and challenging journey that can also be worrisome when early signs of mental health problems emerge. This workshop will explore what some of these signs and symptoms are as well as how to access essential supports for adolescents who are experiencing them.

Building Resiliency in our Children (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenters:Susan Wood, Psychologist, and Beth Hayes, Psychological Associate, KPR

This workshop will focus on the concept of resiliency: how can we help our children and youth “bounce back” when they are faced with difficulties or disappointments? Mental wellness strategies will be promoted through presentation, discussion and activities.  A list of community and online resources will be provided. 


Depression in Children and Teens (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenters: Michaelene Shannon and Sandra Bird, School Board Counsellors

Deep sadness and depression do occur in children and adolescents. This workshop will look at what depression looks like in children and teens, some causes and risk factors, and ways parents and guardians can help their children deal with their feelings of sadness or depression.


Early Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues in Children and Youth (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenters: Alison MacKenzie and Julia Rick, School Board Counsellors, KPR

Parenting is a wonderful and challenging journey that can also be worrisome when early signs of mental health problems emerge. The earlier mental health issues are identified the sooner supports can be put into place to promote success. This workshop will explore what some of these signs and symptoms are as well as how to access essential supports for children and youth who are experiencing them.


Let`s Get Our Children Moving (Elementary)

Presenter: Terri Ann Irwin, Manager, Child and Family Development, YMCA of Greater Toronto

Research has shown that mental and physical health directly affect one another.  Physical activity helps people to reduce, and better deal with, stress, worry and emotional issues.  But why is physical activity beneficial to mental health, and what can parents do to keep their kids physically active? Join in a discussion on the current state of children’s physical activity and find out what you can do to help instill a life-long love of being physically active, to reap the benefits it will bring.


Navigating the Mental Health System (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenters: Cynthia Weaver, Administrative Director, Adolescents, and Chris Bovie, Community Relations Officer, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

You believe your child or teen has a mental health issue, but you have no idea where to start looking for assistance.  What organizations and supports are available to help you help your child?  This workshop will give parents and guardians tips for navigating the mental health system.


Social Media and Cyber-bullying(Elementary & Secondary)

Presenter: Durham Regional Police Service

Social media such as FaceBook, Twitter and texting offer new ways for people to keep in touch. Unfortunately, they also have been used by bullies and predators to harass or victimize others.  See how young people are using social media, hear tips for teaching your children and teens to protect themselves, and learn what the law says about issues such as cyber-bullying.


3-Hour Workshop (For those attending one workshop only)

safeTALK: Suicide Awareness and Prevention (Elementary & Secondary)

Presenter: Dr. Deanna Swift, Manager, Professional Services, and Leslie Walberg-Hegan, Mental Health Coordinator, KPR

safeTALK is a three-hour suicide awareness training program from Livingworks, which will help people to become “suicide alert”. Its goal is to help participants “identify people who might be having thoughts of suicide and to connect them to persons trained in suicide intervention.”