COVID-19 update for correctional employees: September 9, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I sent out a message to all of you on Tuesday but wanted to reiterate that my heart and thoughts are with everyone affected by the senseless acts of violence that occurred in the James Smith Cree Nation reserve and surrounding communities in Saskatchewan. We are all shocked by this horrific tragedy and I know that many of our staff maintain their ties to small rural communities. We share the grief felt by the residents of these communities and all of those affected, particularly those who have lost family members and friends.
We are here for you. There are also many resources and services available to help you during this time. Please do reach out to them if you need support.
Ceremonies in Pacific Region
I was pleased to attend two special events in the Pacific Region this past week. On September 7, it was wonderful to:
- officially welcome Constance Hourie as the Regional Deputy Commissioner (RDC) at a Change of Command ceremony, and
- thank Denis Boucher for his leadership as the Pacific RDC for the past three years
I also had the pleasure to recognize the dedication of outstanding employees in the region at the awards ceremony.
I was honoured to be part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village yesterday and today. I signed a letter of intent on behalf of CSC to solidify our continued partnership with the Sts’ailes First Nation community, who provide integral support for the successful operation of the Healing Village.
Thank you to all of you who made these important events such a success. It is always such a pleasure to meet with our dedicated staff and community partners in person.
Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This year, Canadians celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, commemorating her 70-year reign. CSC is proud to:
- honour her and the connection we have had to Her Majesty, and
- acknowledge the important role she has played in our country’s history
If you wish to learn more about the Queen and the Crown in Canada, you can visit Canadian Heritage’s commemorative website. It also features the online book of condolences, which all Canadians are invited to sign, as well as information pertaining to the transition to a new Monarch.
Find information about the Queen and sign the book of condolences:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day
September 9 is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day. FASD is a condition that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. As September is also FASD Awareness Month, it is a great opportunity to raise awareness and to support individuals with this condition.
I would like to highlight the work of CSC’s clinic team who is involved in education and training of staff in working effectively with patients living with FASD. The clinic team helps forge contacts and collaboration with community partners to facilitate continuity of care and supports for patients post release. The clinic conducts 30 to 40 assessments per year.
Learn more about the Government of Canada’s role in establishing programs that will improve outcomes for those with FASD:
- International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day (internal resource only)
Take time to learn more by attending:
- the FASD Awareness events in Canada
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day is tomorrow, September 10. The theme of Creating Hope Through Action highlights that we can take action to prevent suicide. Our collective actions, no matter how big or small, create hope.
Suicide often accompanies feelings of:
- being perceived as a burden, and
- a lack of belonging or connection to others
Working in a correctional environment can be difficult, and employees are sometimes at risk of distressing and suicidal thoughts. It is important for staff to be aware of vulnerable individuals, including your colleagues.
Fostering respectful relationships with each other, as well as those in custody can help create a sense of belonging and connection. Let us take the time to stop and create a safe environment where everyone:
- can express themselves, and
- find support and help when needed
Find out more about suicide prevention:
- Creating Hope Through Action (internal resource only)
Learn more about CSC’s ongoing efforts to address suicide and self-injurious vulnerabilities among federal offenders:
- Suicide Prevention and Intervention Strategy (internal resource only)
LifeWorks information sessions
This leads me to mention LifeWorks, our new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) external service provider, which offers a wide range of services. I encourage you to take some time to participate in the all-staff information sessions that were developed for you.
Mark your calendar with one of the sessions:
- LifeWorks, for you and with you! (internal resource only)
Thank you for everything you do!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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