Healthy Emotional Living Program

The Healthy Emotional Living Program (HELP) is a week long trauma-informed, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) based skill building program. HELP focusses on enhancing three essential skill sets: mindfulness, distress tolerance, and impulse control. Each of these skill sets was adapted from the broader DBT program because of its impact on impulsiveness, enhancing behavioral and emotional regulation and ultimately client safety and well-being. DBT is an evidence-based program that is proven to make a significant impact on participants’ ability to keep themselves safe, be resilient and experience an enhanced sense of well-being.

Program Inclusion Criteria

Individuals can be referred to the program if they are between 16 - 20 years of age, and are prepared and able to be present and engaged for all 5 days.

Program Duration and Dates

The program is 5 days in duration from 10:00 to 12:00 in the morning and 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.

We are offering the program on the following dates

The participant fee for the 5 day HELP group is $ 1,500.00. Funding may be available through FNIHB for eligible clients.

The program will be offered at the

Lunch is on your own. You are welcome to bring lunch or visit one of the local restaurants.


  1. Mindfulness with the goal of helping participants:
    • have more choices and control over their behaviour, make important decisions with emotional and logical balance
    • focus their attention and have control over their thinking, and actions
    • increase their compassion for themselves and others, and
    • decrease the pain, tension and stress that negatively impacts their lives
  2. Distress Tolerance with the goal of helping participants:
    • learn how to deal with difficult situations without making them worse
    • calm and soothe themselves
    • learn how to relax and be present so as to make effective decisions in the moment, and
    • minimize impulsive decision making and behavior
  3. Emotional Regulation with the goal of helping participants:
    • understand the emotions they experience
    • reduce emotional vulnerability
    • decrease unwanted emotions, and
    • decrease emotional suffering

Client Guidelines

  1. Attendance at each session is critical. When any one participant misses a session, it is disruptive for all participants. Participants must therefore make a commitment to be present at all meetings.
  2. Participants are encouraged to engage in each session and complete the homework exercises assigned. Both of these requirements are important for success.
  3. While little confidential information is exchanged in the sessions, it is expected that all participants respect the confidentiality of others.
  4. All participants are expected to behave in a respectful manner. Verbal or physical abuse is not acceptable and will result in participants being asked to step out and return once calm. If not able to function in a respectful manner they will be asked to leave the program.
  5. Coming to sessions under the influence of any substance will not be effective for the participant in question and will be disruptive to the group. If under the influence of any substance the participant will be asked to leave the session.
  6. Every effort will be made to support participants so that they are able to attend all sessions and benefit fully from the program.

Program Facilitators

These facilitators are FNIHB, INHB and IRS RHSP approved mental health providers.

Referral Process

A referral from a health care provider is required for acceptance to the program. A referral can be made by calling Dr. Quesnel at 204.228.6530 or e-mailing him at

Managing Crisis

If a crisis with an adolescent occurs during the sessions we will ensure that the client’s escort is present and, as required, either:

Call the Youth Mobile Crisis Team at (204) 949-4777 or

have the client and the escort taken to the Children’s Emergency Department at 700 William Avenue (204) 787-2306

If the client is an adult, we will: call the Adult Mobile Crisis Service at (204) 940-1781 or

have the client taken to the Mental Health Crisis Response Center (CRC) Walk-In at 817 Bannatyne Avenue (Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) (204) 940-1781 or

to the Emergency Department of the Health Science Center at 700 William Avenue (204) 787-3167