Therapy Thursday: Wellness Coaches


Did you know that Renfrew has a team of 7 Wellness Coaches who work in our community services department? 

Wellness Coaches work as a team for the Wellness Empowerment Program (WEP) and work in some of Renfrew’s community contract school sites. One of the biggest parts of their work includes incorporating social and emotional (SEL) programming into schools for mental health promotion and prevention through education. 

Social and emotional learning skills are not only important for all children, but they are essential for day-to-day learning and success, fostering positive peer interactions, recognizing, and managing emotions, building problem solving skills, being able to make healthy choices, and understand outcomes from day-to-day choices. Social and emotional learning is a critical skill for all children to have from an early age. It supports the promotion of resiliency for life-long success and overall positive mental health outcomes across the lifespan. 

WEP staff are the miracle workers who regularly incorporate SEL programming into their schools and infuse it naturally by delivering in-class programming for all students to benefit from. 

Here are some activities that families can do to support social and emotional learning in your home routines! 

  • Read stories that have themes consisting of feelings, kindness, coping skills, self-regulation or problem solving – some of our favourite books include The Way I Feel by Janan Cain and My Many Coloured Days by Dr. Seuss!
  • Play feeling face memory game – make your own feeling face cut outs – for each pair matched, discuss the feeling, what you see in the expression and what types of simple situations could have caused that feeling.
  • Try to allow your child some independence to solve basic problems on their own and allow for your child to come up with ideas for a solution first rather than telling them what they should do.
  • Allow your child to experience a range of emotions without shame. So often children are told that it’s ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ to be mad or sad for example and that these are feelings that we should ‘hide away’. We need to let children know that all feelings are okay and normal to experience. Adults can share appropriate ways to manage big emotions safely and positively by modeling positive behavior in their regular day to day interactions.