INNISFAIL – While the COVID-19 pandemic has driven up the demand for services at Innisfail & District Victim Services, the agency is bringing in acclaimed speaker, author and mental health advocate Shannon Moroney to offer both relief and hope for many Innisfailians may face trauma during these challenging times.
Moroney is the author of two bestselling memoirs, including her own story - Through the Glass – that details her hopeful story in pursuit of justice, forgiveness and healing following the horrific crimes committed by her new husband 15 years ago.
Recognized as one of 50 Most Resilient People in the World by the Global Resilience Project, Moroney, who is from Toronto, will be hosting a full-day workshop at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion on Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
She will be facilitating an experiential workshop called, The F-Word: Exploring Forgiveness, to recognize National Victims and Survivors or Crime Week 2020. The target audience is victims, survivors, helper people and professionals.
During the workshop, participants will be invited to explore some common misconceptions about forgiveness, understand for themselves what it means and doesn’t mean, the role of apology, what self-forgiveness is about, and what to do in situations without remorse or the potential for dialogue.
Moroney will also be sharing her own personal story.
Mary Dawn Eggleton, program manager of Innisfail & District Victim Services, said she chose Moroney to speak at this because her story is “one of those things that I think people need to hear.
“I like the fact she has an experiential work shop where people actually get to start to work on some of their trauma,” said Eggleton. “So many times we hear speakers that we just listen to but she is actually is bringing in the experiential piece in where we can actually start to do some work.”
With Moroney coming to Alberta during the increasingly challenging times of the pandemic, it is noteworthy that her agency is seeing an increase for calls of service.
“We are definitely seeing an increase and not just domestic violence but domestic argument files, the stressors and whole over arching with the stress of COVID over top of them, just with the pressures building and they have no outlet for it, especially because counselling services were reduced, often to online services only,” said Eggleton.” People just in general didn’t know where to turn. We are definitely seeing an increase.”
She said there are generally more female clients the agency serves but there is a substantial male base of clients as well.
“Especially because we don’t deal just in domestic violence that we have for cases. It’s all kinds of trauma,” she said, adding the agency is also seeing an increase in mental health cases, especially with males.
“We are definitely seeing an increase of referrals around men and their mental health,” said Eggleton.
However, she also believes that anyone today facing increased stress because of the pandemic he or she would benefit from hearing Moroney’s story and participating in the Nov. 23 workshop.
"She helps them in her healing process, and how to search a process for some of the trauma they have endured and experienced," said Eggleton. “She starts that process in healing, just even exploring that trauma and what it means to them, whether that is through the path of forgiveness, and that is not for everybody. For some it may be.”
For more information on Moroney visit her website at www.shannonmoroney.com
Tickets for her Nov. 23 workshop are $20. They are available on Eventbrite or call the Innisfail Victim Services office at 403-227-8555.
The Innisfail victim services office said there are some complimentary tickets available for those whose finances are a barrier.