From the Director's Desk

On behalf of the PSPNET Team, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year. I hope your 2023 is off to a good start. 

This month's newsletter includes updated information on our therapist-guided and self-guided courses, information on the new Families and Couples Resource Hub, and a media spotlight and mental health tip on winter blues. 

Thank you for your interest in our services and for taking the time to read this newsletter. Please contact us if you require any additional information or have any questions.

Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Director of PSPNET


as of December 31st, 2022


as of December 31st, 2022
FOR SPOUSES                              FOR PSP 

New and Noteworthy

The Families and Couples Resource Hub

PSPNET Families is incredibly excited to be able to offer a new Families and Couples Resource Hub on our website. The resources cover 6 broad aspects of family life specific to families of first responders or other public safety personnel:

1. Expectations and Support: PSP Families in the Community
2. Family Responsibilities: Role Overload
3. Nonstandard Hours of Work: Out of Sync and Out of Time
4. Requirements of the Job: The Impact at Home
5. Trauma Exposure: The Ripple Effects
6. Work and Transitions: Managing Uncertainty 

Click Here to Check Out this New Resource

Media Spotlight

Thinking Out Loud with Sheldon MacLeod, Podcast

Listen to Sheldon MacLeod speak with our clinician, Dr. Luke Schneider, about PSPNET, PSPNET Families, and Blue Monday.

Listen to the Podcast Here
Mental Health Tip
It's that time of the year again when winter sets in. For some people, it can begin to feel like it will never end, which can have a negative impact on our mental health. People sometimes refer to this, informally, as the Winter Blues.

This might look like sleeping more than usual, eating more of their comfort foods, and engaging in fewer activities. A little bit of this behaviour is to be expected, but too much can cause real problems for some people and can lead to unhelpful thoughts, a decrease in seeking support, and a rise in depression.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to combat the winter blues to give yourself the best chance of keeping your mood in check.

1. Let there be light. Try your best to experience daylight, even when the sky is cloudy and grey. This can mean getting outside during the day, or opening up the curtains and spending time near the windows. Hanging a mirror or two can also be an excellent way to disperse natural light into other areas of your space. Experiencing daylight can help improve your mood. 

2. Go outside. Being in nature (for example, going to your local park) can boost your mood, even when done for short periods of time. Make sure you bundle up for the weather of the day and take some time to reflect on the nature and fresh cool air around you. This may also be an excellent time to practice mindfulness - to meaningfully connect with your surroundings. 

3. Be physical. While it is tempting to stay dormant when it is cold outside, staying physically active is an incredibly important tool for managing mental health. If it is too cold to be outside, going to the gym (or even a walk around your local recreation or shopping centre) can be helpful as well.

4. Avoid oversleeping. While it may seem counter-intuitive, getting more sleep than what you need can cause symptoms of winter blues to worsen. Studies have shown that having a regular sleep and wake time can vastly improve mood symptoms. So the next time that you think about hitting the ‘snooze’ button, ask yourself what the long-term consequences of this behaviour might be.

5. Be kind to yourself. You are most definitely not alone this season. It may be useful to develop some coping statements- for example, reminding yourself that although winter is not yet over, every day the sun is out a little bit longer. 
Read the Full Article

Source: CMHA (January, 2020). Winter blues 101. URL:
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