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What Will I Learn?

Finding Our Footing - Foundations of MAiD


Aim: This session will equip participants with foundational knowledge and skills to begin conversations about MAiD and offer informed psychosocial support to individuals pursuing MAiD and their people. 

Note: This 2-day learning series is similar to what is offered through the Bridge C-14 Educational Series and through the Death, Dying and Bereavement Certificate through Laurier University.


Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of the 2 day-session, participants will be able to:

    • Explain the history of MAiD legislation in Canada, eligibility, and application process and how it operationalized in different jurisdictions.

    • Identify ethical considerations for professionals supporting people pursuing MAiD.

    • Identify ways to engage clients in conversations about MAiD that support non-coercion and responsibilities of care.

    • Identify psychosocial aspects of the MAiD experience for people pursuing MAiD, their supporters, and people grieving a MAiD death.

    • Identify opportunities and activities to help individuals and families prepare for MAiD and navigate grief bereavement using a person-centred approach.

    • Complete a MAiD psychosocial assessment using a practice support tool.

    • Use several psychosocial and somatic coping strategies to support clients, and practitioner self-care for professionals and volunteers experiencing grief from client death.

    • Identify sources for MAiD information and resources for clients including Bridge C-14 supports.

A Crisis of Faith or a Transcendent Experience? - Exploring Spirituality and MAiD

Aim: In this session, participants will gain an understanding of some of the challenges faith and spirituality add to the MAiD journey and explore ways to support individuals and clients. Note: The content of this session is geared to everyone regardless of faith tradition or absence thereof.

Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of the 2 hour session, participants will be able to:

    • Explain how Spirituality and MAiD interface.

    • Identify ways to support clients who are challenged by MAiD based on faith, religion or spiritual beliefs.

    • Discuss why spirituality is important to include in holistic person centred care/ethical obligations to address spirituality.

    • Provide approaches to supporting family conflict re MAiD and faith.

    • Identify approaches to facilitating a conversation about what happens after death as a vehicle for spiritual exploration and information to inform MAiD journey rituals/activities.

    • Explore the impact of secrecy and spiritual life, and how to approach conversations.

Sharing Our Truth - The Power of Digital Stories and MAiD


Aim: “Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom.” – Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

This presentation will explore the why and how of Digital Storytelling with people who have accompanied someone who accessed MAID. We will talk about why stories matter and how stories "work" before providing a basic overview of the digital story process. This presentation will showcase Digital Stories created by family caregivers as part of a larger research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and will explore how people can engage with patient and family created-short films in a way that will help them draw out the wisdom that is available within.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this 2 hour session, participants will be able to:

  • Share new perspectives on MAID from the stories shared.

  • Identify how to engage with stories in a way that can develop their own understanding of end-of-life experiences. 

A Daughter's Story - Perspectives on Grief and MAiD in Asian Cultures

Aim: In many Asian communities, discussing death, and MAiD in particular, is often seen as bringing bad luck, complicating the journey of caring for a dying family member. Understanding the complexities of end-of-life care and decisions around MAiD in Asian cultures, where cultural taboos can make discussions challenging, is essential for compassionate support. This workshop examines how different Asian communities approach death, influenced by religious beliefs, adherence to traditions, and levels of assimilation into Western norms. Participants will gain insights that promote empathy and sensitivity, whether for themselves as Asians, their Asian family members, friends, or clients and patients. 

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this 2 hour session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and appreciate the significance of honouring family traditions and cultural customs in end-of-life scenarios 

  • Share practical coping strategies to address barriers or disagreements about end-of-life care and MAiD that may arise in cultural contexts

  • Learn how to support individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds through the MAiD experience

  • Cultivate personal strategies for discovering inner peace, finding courage, and building resilience when encountering cultural obstacles in caregiving and MAiD decision-making scenarios

When the Personal is Professional: Practitioner Beliefs and Professional Ethics - A Community Conversation


Aim: Psychosocial support practitioners are often concerned over their professional obligation to provide MAiD information and support, and their personal views, beliefs, and concerns about MAiD. Acknowledging this complex position is vital to creating a supportive space that recognizes the diverse worldviews of professionals and volunteers that come into contact with MAiD. This session will offer space for participants to explore the changing MAiD landscape and evolving legislation, and the role you as professionals and volunteers play in supporting MAiD. This highly interactive session will facilitate open conversation, harvest wisdom and experience from participants, and guide you to start defining your personal response to MAiD and a professional ethic of care for supporting people through the MAiD journey. This session will be informed by the stories and learnings of Bridge C-14 President & CEO, Lauren Clark, MSW, RSW, along with special guests, Karen Faith, Bioethics Consultant and representative from MAiDHouse, and Julia Rose, MSW Student.  

Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of this 2 hour session, participants will be able to:

    • Demonstrate awareness of their personal beliefs and perspectives on MAiD.

    • Identify supporting and dissenting views and implications of the evolving MAiD legislation.

    • Explore ethical obligations for care throughout the MAiD journey.

    • Identify the role counsellors, social workers and other professionals and volunteers may have through the MAiD journey and how you would like to engage.

    • Identify response strategies for scenarios where personal beliefs and professional ethics intersect.​

Choreographing the MAiD Day - Insights from a Death Educator

Aim: Knowing the date and time of death through MAiD brings unique opportunities and challenges. We’ve heard from people affected by MAiD that though there is information about the clinical aspects of MAiD, there is very little information and support for preparing emotionally, relationally, and pragmatically for the day. As professionals and volunteers in the MAiD space, we have the opportunity to help our clients and patients create a fitting death for themselves while tending to the grief bereavement needs of their supporters. Explore with Death Educator Christa Ovenell, frontline experiences from her practice. Build your skills and approach to facilitating a day of MAiD planning conversation and hear how pragmatic planning, ritual, and other comfort measures can support this complex event.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify psychosocial needs, challenges and opportunities experienced by family caregivers/supporters in their role choreographing their person’s MAiD.

  • Identify psychosocial needs and experiences of people pursuing MAiD for their MAiD day. 

  • Explain the MAiD process and typical flow of the medical event in gentle language.

  • Share coping strategies and approaches to creating a brave container for experiencing the emotions of the day.

  • Identify process for facilitating a MAiD planning conversation with individuals and families.

  • Identify ideas for activities and rituals including holding space, saying good-bye, after death body care options, and grief bereavement.


"Nana Had What?!" - Engaging Children and Youth in Conversations About MAiD

Aim: One of the first questions we hear from families with a loved one pursuing MAiD is, “what do we tell the kids?” The stress of knowing what to share with children and how to engage them in their person’s MAiD, if at all, can be an additional stressor in an already difficult time. This session will prepare participants to support families experiencing MAiD with attention to children and youths’ developmental needs, and their family culture and beliefs about death and grief. We will explore ways to talk about MAiD with children and youth, common questions and psychosocial needs of children and youth preparing for and grieving a MAiD death, and child-friendly ideas for involving children and youth in the MAiD day. This session will feature a special presentation and Q&A with teen MAiD and grief advocate, Muirrean Irish, to hear directly from a youth about their experience of MAiD and how grown-ups can help.   


Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of this 2 hour session, participants will be able to:

    • Identify children and youths’ key psychosocial needs regarding MAiD, anticipatory grief, and bereavement.

    • Describe MAiD in child-friendly language.

    • Identify strategies to enable parents/caregivers to be grief facilitators including opportunities to build continuing bonds, grief rituals, and ways to engage children in the MAiD event.

    • Identify a range of resources including children’s books, websites, podcasts, and webinars to support child and parent/caregiver MAiD psychoeducation.

    • Note: a copy of Pancakes with Nana: A Storybook About Medical Assistance in Dying is included for each participant.

Grief and Loss Essentials - Navigating Grief as Caring Professionals and Volunteers

Aim: This session is designed to help caring professionals and volunteers better understand and navigate their own grief so that you can better support self and others through life transitions. Our current culture is grief and mourning phobic, not inviting people to recognize, honour, and express their grief. As compassionate caregivers, mental health professionals, clinicians, and coaches, we meet people during life transitions and too often, we are encouraged to stay strong, be brave, and focus on the future. The failure to integrate our grief results is increased anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and burn-out. Join Dina as she shares her wisdom to enhance our capacity to bear witness to suffering in a healthy way. This session includes a copy of the PPT, suggested practices, small group discussions and time for Q&As. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of the 2 hour session, participants will be able to: 

    • Deepen their understanding of modern thanatological theories.

    • Expand their healthy coping styles.

    • Learn tips to apply the grief companioning model.

    • Reflect on their own life losses.


"Now What?": Bringing It All Together - Case Studies and Group Discussions

Aim: The intention of this session is to increase your confidence in offering psychosocial support to people touched by MAiD. This integration session will guide participants to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve gained through this conference by exploring MAiD case studies. In small groups, you will work collaboratively to identify key concerns, strengths and opportunities, design your response, and reflect on your personal reactions and needs for self care. This session will allow participants to deepen your connection with conference peers and expand your MAiD network of supports and referrals.  

Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of the 3 hour session, participants will be able to: ​

    • Use a MAiD psychosocial assessment tool to evaluate a case study. 

    • Recommend psychosocial support strategies to address diverse MAiD scenarios.

    • Consider the role other professionals, volunteers, organisations and resources might play in supporting MAiD case study scenarios.

    • Reflect on their personal and professional ethics in the case study context and identify appropriate self care strategies. 

Closing Celebration

Megan Sheldon will help us ceremonially close our time together on the final day, sharing knowledge and guidance on how to weave ritual and ceremony into the way we gather. She will invite us to pause, reflect and share how this experience has landed, creating space to acknowledge what we have learned and how we can integrate it into our lives moving forward. She will also gift us with some ritual tools that we can weave into our everyday lives as we focus on both self care and community care.

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