JERRIS POPIK MSW, RSW

Jerris Popik is a Registered Social Worker and Co-Founder of Families First: Support for Occupational Stress Inc., and Co-Creator of the successful evidence-informed Heads Up! School Mental Health Program. Additionally, on a National platform Jerris is also the Co-Director/Creator of the Warrior Kids programs with Wounded Warriors Canada. Jerris received an applied psychology degree from Concordia University and a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Calgary. Jerris is honored to be a Clinical Advisor with Wounded Warriors Canada and the Co-Creator and Program Director of the successful national Warrior Kids Programs that in the past three years has provided support to over 500 children and youth in Canada from first responder and military families affected by parental operational stress injuries. For the past 15 years Jerris has focused on providing evidence-based mental health supports for Canada’s military, veteran and first responder personnel and their families impacted by occupational psychological injuries. Working alongside first responder and military members and their families Jerris is driven to bring tailored, high quality mental health resources and programs uniquely designed for each community’s needs. Jerris has been a part of co-creating the following evidence-based resources including Warrior Wellness Twins online course Courageous Connections; children’s book, Larry’s Big Adventure: Understanding Operational Stress Injuries in First Responders (2019); Trauma, Connection and Courageous Parenting Guide (2022); Reimagined Connection: New Possibilities for Virtual Mental Health Support for Children and Youth of Public Safety Personnel Impacted by Operational Stress Injuries, published in the Journal of Military and Veteran Family Health (2020).

HELENA HAWRYLUK PhD, RSW

Dr. Helena Hawryluk is a Registered Social Worker and Co-Founder of Families First: Support for Occupational Stress Inc. and Co-Creator of the successful evidence-informed Heads Up! School Mental Health Program. Additionally, Helena is also the Director/Creator of Warrior Kids program with Wounded Warriors Canada and the Heads Up! School Mental Health Program. Dr. Hawryluk completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Concordia University, a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Calgary, followed by her Masters of Clinical Social Work and then her PhD with the Faculty of Social Work at University of Calgary. She has practiced as a social worker for over 15 years with families of the Canadian Armed Forces and Public Safety Personnel. Her clinical practice has focused on supporting families impacted by the effects of secondary trauma related to operational stress injuries. Dr. Hawryluk was awarded the Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship for her research entitled “Through our Eyes”, using participatory visual methods to showcase the unique perspectives and needs of youth in military families impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, post-Afghanistan war. Her ongoing research interests include cultivating resilience with youth living in first-responder families impacted by trauma and finding innovative ways to support parenting strategies in families impacted by operational stress injuries. She has created an evidence-based movement of providing practical and creative support to first-responders and their families to thrive as parents and partners while living and working within the first-responder culture.

Dr. Hawryluk is also an instructor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary and Grant MacEwan University, School of Social Work. She instructs on clinical social work practice skills, Assessment and Interventions, Family Violence Interventions, and recently custom developed SOWK 435: Social Work Practice with Military, Veteran, First-Responders and Their Families which she currently teaches at Grant MacEwan University. Her recent publication as co-author titled: “Reimagined Connection: New Possibilities for Virtual Mental Health Support for Children and Youth of Public Safety Personnel Impacted by Operational Stress Injuries” was published in the Journal of Military and Veteran Family Health in May 2020.

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