May 2020, Spruce Grove What’s Happening!
The Spruce Grove GSA Society respectfully acknowledges that we are situated in Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.
Currently our regular GSA is temporarily postponed, due to the outbreak of Corvid 19, and the recommendations of all levels of our governments. We had to make the difficult decision to temporarily postpone the large group of the Spruce Grove GSA at St. Andrew’s United Church (1A Fieldstone Drive) for the time being. We are still connecting as always through email, social media, and our website!
We do not take the decision to postpone even one meeting of a Safe Space lightly, and we are working hard to try and find safe ways for everyone to connect while maintaining all levels of health and safety standards.
Small Pop up GSAs!
Our GSA has always been online through our website and social media accounts. We unfortunately do not have our GSA set up at this time for “chatting online” as a group, but we can recommend many wonderful groups!
We would like to start connecting with everyone in small groups of one to three youths!
These “Pop up GSAs” will run weekly during the days & evenings in 60 minute booked times!
We will be going for walks and meeting outside. Everyone including the Adults in our GSA will need to ensure we are healthy!
Yep, we will still have to do the physical distancing & hand sanitizing. But this is a way for us to begin to reconnect! These Pop-up GSAs will be with Jody & Ash to begin. We may be expanding with our other adults if this becomes a high need program.
Please email or message us through our social media accounts to set up a time! firstname.lastname@example.org
What does re opening the GSA look like to you?
What Safety measures would help you, your parents and caregivers feel safe?
We would like to consider all thoughts as we move forward towards planning stages. Some of the ideas we are considering are: Pre-packaged snacks (for health and safety purposes), cloth masks (maybe we could figure out how to make rainbow masks!), alternating GSA dates to give all youth a chance to pop in (less kids per GSA day), extra hand washing and sanitizing, maintaining distances while in the GSA, staying home when sick.
Please realize that these “rules” don’t look like a lot of fun, but we can make them our own and still have fun at GSA! This is still your space with loud music, friends, laughter, and family.
May is Mental Health and Wellness Month!
Let’s Talk about tips to help with our Mental Health and Wellness!
When I say “I’m fine” what I could be saying is “I’m fantastic, fabulous, great, sad, overwhelmed, happy, stressed, okay, busy, overworked…” Sometimes I’m fine doesn’t convey everything we actually want or need to say. It’s important to reach out to friends, family, teachers, coworkers, doctors, those you trust to help!
You're not alone. Everyone feels stressed out at times — adults, teens, and even kids. But you can avoid getting too stressed out by handling everyday pressures and problems, staying calm, asking for help when you need it, and making time to relax.
Long-term stressful situations can produce a lasting, low-level stress that can leave a person feeling tired or overwhelmed. Finding ways to cope with the difficult situation can prevent this from happening, and ease stress that's been lasting.
CMHA Youth Smart - CMHA Calgary’s Youth SMART (Youth Supporting Mental Health and Resiliency Together)
YouthSMART knows that students are incredibly influential amongst their peers, within their schools, families, and communities. As such, YouthSMART approaches youth as valuable peer contributors actively involved in the programming and opportunities that directly impact their wellness, and works with youth leaders to transform the culture of their school surrounding mental health.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): How You Can Make a Difference
How Does Social Distancing Help?
When everyone in a community does it, social distancing slows the spread of the coronavirus. The result is that fewer people get sick at the same time.
When fewer people are sick, doctors and hospitals are better able to keep up with taking care of people. Scientists have time to work on vaccines that can help prevent people from getting sick.
Check out Interactive Links Online
Chat Groups & More!
There’s a ton of links for you to check out on our website. Please pop over to Spruce Grove GSA!
Under the folder Interactive Links Online you will find a new section labeled Chat Groups! Here you can connect with other GSAs and Groups!
The internet and social media are essential for connecting individuals to information and people. It is extremely important to keep these connections!
As with any online group, please be mindful of your safety and your online security with any information you give.
Centre for Sexuality
GSA STUDENTS: we're hosting another online meet-up in our "Cloud" GSA meeting series!
Our GSA Network Coordinator, Hilary and our LGBTQ2S+ Youth and Family Support Worker, Laura have teamed up to host a community-based “Cloud” GSA Meeting series for all youth who are at a school with a GSA or involved with a GSA group. Each meeting will have a theme, activity and social time to connect!
If you are a GSA student and would like to attend you can email Hilary for the link: email@example.com
Join our next online GSA meetup — follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news!
Please include the name of your school and your GSA sponsor teacher to receive the link! We can’t wait to see you all there
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS)
iSMSS is happy to offer free workshops in the form of video conferencing through Google Meet and Zoom. They are able to offer distance learning keeping in line with the healthy practices of social isolation.
Their presentations will cover a variety of different and interesting topics focused on 2SLGBTQ+ topics. The workshops are open to everyone who is interested in learning more about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, education, terminology and more! They also offer professional development for teachers and organizations!
For the most updated information check out their Facebook page!
Thursday May 14th – GSA Legislation in Alberta 2:00-3:30pm
This webinar will walk participants through current legislation of the Alberta Education Act as it relates to Gay & Queer Straight Alliances. Participants will leave with the best practices for educators and those who support students.
The following free online workshops will be on Anti-oppression and GSA Legislation in Alberta.
These sessions have limited capacity. Spaces fill up quickly! Sign up now!
To register for the Anti-Opression session, contact Gabe Castilloux, WTRM Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for the GSA legislation in Alberta session, contact Evan Westfal, Education Coordinator at email@example.com
Resources and groups for teens, young people, and adults. Our Groups.
Connection. Community. Support.
All our groups are carefully aligned to the needs of our clients. They are facilitated by community members who share lived experiences with participants and are also professionally supported by our counseling team.
All groups are online via Zoom! Looking for when your group meets next? Check the calendar for the most updated times and events!
The Stony Plain Youth Centre
Check out the AMAZING fun things Stony Plain Youth Centre has happening by following their Facebook or Instagram! The Stony Plain Youth Centre has gone VIRTUAL!
They have created a virtual space where youth are invited to engage in activities and have fun. A schedule is posted each week featuring a variety of opportunities for youth to get involved. Connect with them for activities, prizes and fun!
*Be sure to check out 3 Teens 3 Topics* In coordination with Parkland School Division
What do you like? What makes you happy? What do you want folks to know about? Books/Games/Movies/School(?)/Life Experience/Animals/ You choose the topic and talk!
Go to the Stony Plain Youth Centre pages for all the details!
Taking Care of You!
I still have journals for our Spruce Grove GSA kids which I bought for our March GSA. Please email or message me so I can get them to you for this month!
Journaling is a fantastic way to improve your mental health it has pretty incredible benefits! It is a powerful way to help unjumble thoughts and emotions. It can also help us deal with stress and challenging life events, and it has been proven to positively impact our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
There is no right or wrong way to Journal. Make it special and unique, make it yours! Believe in you!
Yoga Is More Than Just Stretching
Lots of people think of yoga as stretching or twisting the body into various impossible-looking pretzel shapes. But yoga is easier than it looks. There are simple poses as well as complicated ones, so there's something for every ability. Yoga requires no special equipment, so you can do it almost anywhere.
5 Ways to Prevent Stress Buildup
Everyday stressors have a way of piling up if we don't keep them in check. Adding these 5 simple actions to your regular routine can help you avoid that "bogged down by stress" feeling.
Learning to manage stress means building coping skills that allow you to take everyday challenges in stride. It's about keeping problems in perspective instead of ignoring them, and learning what to work on and what to let go of.
Our Community – Help our GSA grow together!
Please help us continue to grow!
Even though we are temporarily closed, we are still paying our insurance. We are still doing research and helping folks online. We are still reaching out to youth and adults in our community. Please help to stay open and continue to grow by saving your bottles or by making a donation online. We will re-open, and we will continue to be a Safe Space where our youth can feel included, respected, and protected.
Are you able to help set up a fundraising committee?
How can you contribute?
Our community is filled with folks with amazing people that care about youth and their surroundings. Our GSA is a Community GSA, help us grow together!
Some of the ways you can fabulous:
Monetary donations, click on the donate button on our website, spend time with us at different events, parades or resource fairs)
Contributions of any size will be used to support youth through the purchase of materials that will be used at our meetings, as well as to fund excursions to special events within the community. They will also support the GSA as a whole by helping us with operational expenses.
We are a 100% volunteer-run organization; all funds will go to ensuring we can continue to offer services to youth.
Please Donate your bottles to the Spruce Grove GSA Society! We will gladly arrange to pick up bottles once a month. This will greatly help out with our fundraising goals! Thank you to the folks who are currently donating to our GSA!
Important Phone Numbers
Kids Help Phone
Text CONNECT 686868
24-hour, anonymous phone counseling for children and youth, 100% confidential
they do not trace calls, they do not have call display, you do not have to tell them your name. You can
connect by phone or mobile app, or through the website.
780-962-2222 Spruce Grove 24 hours
780-968-7267 Stony Plain 24 hours
Need to talk? Call! Our peer support hotline is run by and for trans people.
Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton
24 hour distress line
Resources for Albertans daily needs.
When you see someone in distress, you can help before police or emergency services are needed by calling 211 and pressing 3 to dispatch the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team.
Health Information and ToolsSpruce Grove GSA Website
On our website you can find all of our information such as dates of our GSA, tips on Safe Spaces, health, recognizing abuse and Resources.