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We are increasing the capacity of our community to meet the unique needs of children, youth, and adults who are exposed to the stress and stigma of a parent's substance use, with the goal to decrease rates of mental illness, substance use disorder, and suicide in impacted individuals.  We do this through knowledge mobilization both nationally and internationally.

Learn more about our offerings below, and please join us.


What Clients Say

"Agnes' presentation was inspiring, thought provoking, and so meaningful."

March 2022, Substance use Health Webinar with CCSA and CAPSA

Stress, Stigma, and safety 101: anti-stigma training

Substance Use STIGMA and its effect on children and youth whose parents have a substance use disorder.

Substance use stigma continues to be a well-known barrier to individuals accessing support and has been coined a public health issue by leaders across Canada. Despite efforts to decrease stigma, however, families experiencing substance use challenges continue to experience discrimination and isolation. This workshop will move beyond definitions and, through self-reflection, will explore how we can dismantle substance use stigma by applying a trauma-informed lens to our practice as service providers, community members, and families with lived experience. 


In this half-day workshop, Starling's founder, Agnes Chen, marries her personal experiences with the stigma of a parent's substance use, with the voices of peers and current literature to explore how we can remove and dismantle the stigma that harms individuals and the whole communities. 

The training is facilitated through a:

-relational view of health and healing

-trauma-responsive and healing centred lens

-self-reflection and awareness 

Who is it for:

service providers (health professionals, educators, and other front-line staff) who interact with youth and parents who have unaddressed trauma and SUD.


Past presentations include:

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Decreasing Shame and Increasing Hope in Students

The amount of stress a youth experiences in their developing years and how they are supported to get through this stress contributes to their lifetime risk for mental illness, suicide, and substance use disorder. Stigma plays a major role in how youth experience their world and how safe they feel to seek out support.  


In Alberta, 1 in 5 youth are exposed to the stress of a parent's substance use disorder, which is compounded by society's stigma, placing impacted youth at up to triple the risk for mental illness, substance use disorder and suicide. 


In alignment with the Alberta School curriculum, this 2 hour school program supports youth to understand how stress can influence their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, helps them to understand how stigma can influence their ability to seek out support for stress, and empowers them to find their safer people and spaces.


We support organizations and businesses to create more compassionate and just programs, policies, and content with a focus on implementing trauma-aware practices with their staff/ clients who are impacted by or who are journeying alongside individuals affected by substance use and/or its stigma.

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