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Supporting expecting and new mothers with substance use issues: Sheway

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Dr. Verena Strehlau (on right) presents the final report to Patti Zettel, Manager of Sheway.

Thanks to collaborative work by CHÉOS investigators, health care providers have a few more tools available to them when working with expecting and new mothers with substance use issues and their children.

CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Iris Torchalla and Verena Strehlau received a Knowledge and Dissemination grant from CIHR that allowed them to create a series of two-hour workshops for staff at Sheway. This Downtown Eastside program offers social and medical services as well as other supportive services for pregnant women and new mothers. These services include: prenatal and postnatal care, sexual health counselling, addiction counselling, methadone maintenance treatment, nutrition counselling, parenting classes, and First Nation-specific services.

Sheway staff gather for a meeting.

Objectives for the workshops were: to support joint learning and knowledge exchange between a transdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians; collaboratively expand staff knowledge and clinical skills for addressing trauma issues in the context of addiction; and increase the researchers’ understanding of the challenges clinicians face in their everyday work.

On behalf of the investigators, Dr. Strehlau presented Sheway staff with the final report and manual on April 22, 2015. The results of this project have been presented at various conferences, including the 2015 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in New York.

Download the Sheway Workshop Manual: Trauma informed care for women who use substances.

Download the accompanying slide deck for the manual.