ON-BPD News | Summer 2018

Just a short bulletin for now as many organizations take a summer hiatus.

Updates from the Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder:

News from our Partners:

If you have news that would be of interest to us or our members, please send it to webservices@on-bpd.ca.


Continuing Connections: Radical Acceptance

On May 26, 2018, the Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD) hosted its seventh Continuing Connections workshop. This event, focused on radical acceptance, was attended by more than 35 graduates of the Family Connections course – our best turnout yet!

Continuing Connections is geared towards skills refresher training and also supporting one another in a safe learning environment. If you are a Family Connections graduate, and would like to stay connected with like-minded peers, please join us for our next workshop October 20th focused on Relationship Mindfulness.

We will send email invitations in September for this next session.

We have noted that some are not receiving our invitation. Please check your spam or promotions folder — we use an online event service (Eventbrite) which may cause our messages to be misdirected. You may also send an email to karen@on-bpd.ca. All Family Connections graduates are most welcome to attend.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe summer ahead.

Continuing Connections is an invitation-only half-day workshop delivered quarterly to graduates who have completed the 12-week Family Connections® course. The main objectives of Continuing Connections are to develop a support network for family members experiencing similar situations and to practice the Family Connections skills in a safe, supportive environment. The 2018 Continuing Connections workshops will focus on the following skills:

VALIDATION: Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm — already conducted

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:30 am to 12:00 pm — already conducted

RELATIONSHIP MINDFULNESS: Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:30 am to 12:00 pm


Words to the Wise (Mind) | Good Grief

by Wynn Anne

wheelofgrief_0.pngLast week, our loved one sent a series of text messages that cut my every nerve to the quick. I spent most of that night alternately crying and raging. What I didn't do was respond. By morning, I was still feeling depressed, but the anger had waned, and I was closer to accepting this outburst as a feature of their disorder. I recognized my tears as part of a grieving process.

Many people don’t realize that having a loved one with a mental illness, such as borderline personality disorder or emotion dysregulation, spins us through a grieving cycle in relation to our loved one.

  • We are angry at having to deal with frequent chaos in our lives.
  • We are in denial about how all-encompassing the illness is.
  • We are depressed about something our loved one said or did to us.
  • We try to bargain our way out: if we just let them live in our basement for a few more months, things will get better.
  • And, some days, we simply accept that this is our reality; this is their reality.

You may recognize these as being Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s model of the five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Most of us can relate to all of those stages in relation to the loss of someone we love. But by calling them “stages,” we may fall into the trap of thinking that these are linear steps, that once we pass through depression, we will necessarily reach acceptance or that we will never slip back to anger.

In reality, they might better have been called a wheel of grieving – like an arcade wheel that you spin and then cross your fingers to see where the needle lands. Will today’s dominant feeling be anger? Depression? Or will you reach that peaceful state of acceptance?

But, as with grieving the death of someone we loved, eventually, the wheel spins less frequently; we can spend more and more time in acceptance, and begin to live a life worth living — without anger, denial, bargaining or depression (at least in relation to our mentally ill loved one).

The thing to keep in mind is that these feelings are completely normal and expected, and they will pass. We can choose to turn our minds toward acceptance and toward building that life that makes us feel valued, happy, and fulfilled.

It took patience and some restraint for me to get through that night without rebutting each hurtful word. But, as I've learned through the Family Connections program (both as a participant and a leader), if I value the relationship and want to keep my loved one in my life (and I do), then reacting to these outbursts will not be fruitful. Better to validate the pain that my loved one was feeling, and to look for a way to build a healthier relationship. It's a work in progress.

Where did your needle land today? What steps can you take to move toward acceptance?

Wynn Anne is a Family Connections leader. You can send her a message at wynnanne@on-bpd.ca. In this section of our newsletter, Wynn Anne shares some nuggets of wisdom that she's come across.

News From Our Partners


Free Walk-In Counselling Clinic

Do you need someone to talk to? Trained, professional counsellors offer support for life challenges. No appointment necessary. Counselling to individuals, couples and families. Everyone is welcome! 

No referral is required for the Walk-In Counselling Clinic. You will be assisted, with no appointment, on a first-come, first-serve basis during our Walk-In Counselling Clinic hours. The Walk-In Counselling Clinic is open to Ontario residents within the greater Champlain region.

Cost: FREE.

Website: http://www.walkincounselling.com



  • North Renfrew Family Services

    109 Banting Drive,
    Deep River, ON

  • Somerset West Community Health Centre

    55 Eccles Street,
    Ottawa, ON

  • South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre

    1355 Bank Street,
    Ottawa, ON

  • Family Services Ottawa

    312 Parkdale Avenue,
    Ottawa, ON

  • Jewish Family Services of Ottawa

    300-2255 Carling Avenue,
    Ottawa, ON

  • Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

    959 Wellington St W,
    Ottawa, ON

  • Counselling and Support Services of Stormont,
    Dundas & Glengarry

    26 Montreal Road,
    Cornwall, ON

  • CFS | SFC Ottawa

    310 Olmstead Road,
    Ottawa, ON

New Support Group in Lanark

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

There is a new family peer support group in Lanark county! One of the leaders, Ed McEwen, also happens to be a Family Connections leader and has a wealth of experience for caregivers.

Location: Lanark Community Programs, 30 Bennett Street, Carleton Place

Date: third Monday of the month: June 18th, July 16 & August 20

Time: 6:30-8:00 pm

Description: Please join us for discussions on various topics for family caregivers with loved ones facing mental health challenges. If you are looking for a supportive environment and an opportunity to learn, share common experiences and grow in recovery together, then this is the group for you. Registration not necessary.

Fee: Free

For more information contact: Linda Camponi camponi@storm.ca or Ed McEwen edmcewen@ymail.com

NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program

This is a 12-week course for families supporting individuals with mental health challenges. The course is offered at no cost and taught by trained family members who are volunteers. Courses in Ottawa are generally offered in the fall and the spring each year.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Their program is so popular that it is now available in many regions in Canada.

To register, call: 613.737.7791 or email f2fontario@bell.net.