The Skills Exchange Program supports women’s mental well-being by allowing them to share their experiences of violence, without shame or guilt. In addition, this program develops and strengthens coping skills to help women deal with past and present trauma. During group sessions, women share their skills, knowledge and life experiences. Discussion topics can include: healthy sexuality, healthy relationships, employment, education, financial literacy, assertive communication, and parenting in trauma. These topics are framed within a feminist, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive framework. This foundation of shared experience breaks a woman’s sense of isolation, helps build self-esteem and enables her to become self-empowered.
The program also offers an 8-week long support group called “The Circle of Healing”, offered twice per year. It is run by our Skills Exchange Counsellor at Elmbank Community Centre. The group focuses on reducing the isolation, self-care, managing feelings, parenting, assertive communication, introduction to meditation, using intuition, and building self-esteem.