Grief Basics Facilitated Workshop Series

REGISTRATION IS FULL! We will be offering this workshop series again in the spring.

Our collective and individual grief can inform who we are and how we move through the world. By utilizing a Harm Reduction approach to our grieving process, we will find new ways to understand our grief and support each other to reduce the harms of living with chronic grief and loss.

We understand that grief is not just pain and sadness – joy and love can co-exist at the same time! We will gather together with both our unique and shared experiences and normalize that grief is part of our common humanity. Please join Eno Akan-Essien and Aara Amey-Ayer for this FREE workshop series every Tuesday of February (7, 14, 21, 28) from 5:30-7pm for discussions, activities, reflections and sharing based on ABRPO’s Grief Basics online course. There is no cost for this workshop series of the Grief Basics course.

This will be a Harm Reduction encouraging space. Creating a space for our individual and collective losses is Harm Reduction. Improving how we respond to losses and supporting clients with grief is Harm Reduction. Including grief work in our practice with clients and with colleagues in the workplace is Harm Reduction. We look forward to this solidarity practice together as community.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion when the series finishes.


February 7th: Modules 1 (Introduction) & 2 (Types of Grief)

February 14th: Module 3 (Responses to Grief)

February 21: Module 4: (STUGs)

February 28: Modules 5 (Grief Care) & 6 (Conclusion)

For questions or more information email Laur Kelly

REGISTRATION IS FULL! We will be offering this workshop series again in the spring.

Facilitator Bios:

Eno Akan-Essien has worked with community for the last 2 decades. Through her work, she connects with Peers and Workers seeking to heal together in acknowledging our shared losses, unprocessed grief by using tools expressly developed for this purpose. Her practice is centred on African ways of knowing and inclusive of other authentic ways developed by different cultures. The ultimate goal in her mind is community healing and wellness.

To help her process and ensure continuity, she lifts very heavy things and sets them down as a powerlifter!

Aara Amey-Ayer is a dedicated and passionate Harm Reduction professional and a Social Justice Warrior. Aara has worked in the Social Services Sector for the last 33 years. Aara was the Co-Chair of the Harm Reduction Coalition of York Region and a member of the Opioid Response Education and Anti-Stigma Groups of Public Health York Region, providing leadership and training in comprehensive Harm Reduction strategies. Aara is the Co-Founder of the People Who Use Drugs Alliance of York Region. Aara has spoken at The National (US) Harm Reduction Conference and has developed many workplace policies supporting this model. Aara is a vocal advocate for people who use drug and health promotion services. Aara has provided services such as HR training, design, packing and distribution of HR Safer Drug Using Kits, Naloxone distribution, Client support in Safer Consumption Rooms, support to people with Safer Opioid Drug Supply and the advocacy of dignified services for People Who Use Drugs. Additionally, Aara has worked extensively with people in conflict with the law. Aara founded the first Youth Mental Health Court in York Region. Aara also provided harm reduction counselling to people imprisoned in jails and prisons. Aara co-founded an Imprisoned Women’s Provincial Advocacy Group. Aara is a Queer parent of five children and lives in Kensington Market with her wife. Aara also identifies as an active drug user and a person living with a mental illness.