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Castlegar men gather to overcome trauma and barriers to employment

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
July 6th, 2015

The Transitions for Men program, first developed in Nelson in 2013, will be offering a free group in Castlegar for the first time, beginning on July 20.The group provides support and tools for men who are seeking fulfilling employment by addressing some of the challenges of living with trauma.

In the context of the Transitions program, trauma can include a wide range of experiences, including: physical injuries, mental health challenges, childhood abuse (physical, psychological, or emotional), relationship abuse  
(physical, psychological, or emotional), poverty , brain injuries, extenuated experiences of grief or loss, experiences in armed combat, or addiction.

“Men in our society are often told that to experience trauma is to be weak,” says Samuel Stevenson, one of the program facilitators. “This simply isn’t true. To experience trauma is to be human. And to turn to face it with kindness is a sign of strength.”

The program, run as a partnership between Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS) and Castlegar & District Community Services (CDCSS), draws from a wide range of skills and knowledge to support participants. Ness Benamran, employment counsellor from KDCS, brings a strengths-focused approach to bridging self-knowledge, career exploration, and the job market. Stevenson, along with co-facilitator Jesse Evans from CDCSS, offers modern therapeutic and educational models that help reinforce emotional, behavioural and mental  
wellbeing. Guest mentors are also brought in from the community to contribute. Past mentors have included Aboriginal elders, local employment specialists, art therapists, and health practitioners.

Transitions for Men runs from July 20th to August 14 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Mon-Fri and includes lunch. To apply, contact Samuel Stevenson at  
(250)608-7878 or Ness Benamran at 1(877)952-6200, extension 223.

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