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 via workshops and speaking engagements, peer support (zoom and in person in Calgary, AB,) and advocacy.

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

anti-stigma workshop

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

In this full day workshop, Starling's founder, Agnes Chen, utilizes personal stories with current literature on adverse childhood experiences to expose how stigma increases the risk for mental illness, suicide, and SUD in youth whose parents have a substance use disorder. 

Who is it for:

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

Raising EMpathy Workshop

Raising kids to be empathetic little humans begins with Understanding our Feelings.

In this 1.5 hour workshop, Agnes invites youth age 5-12 to explore how we can, together, grow healthy brains and bodies.


Using brain science, storytelling, and pom poms, Agnes connects real-life circumstances youth experience to our body's response to the people and world around it, highlighting the important role we play in each other's lives.  


What Clients Say

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

March 2022, Substance use Health Webinar with CCSA and CAPSA


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.

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Check out our section strictly for peers here


Our sessions are always run for peers, by peers who have been exposed to the stress and stigma of a parent's substance use.


BOOK CLUB: Monthly book club where  peers support peers-every Thursday evening 

STRESS & STIGMA 101: 1.5 hour montly session that focuses on how the stress of a parent's substance use can impact our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. 


INDIVIDUAL: one on one 1 hour intro with a peer who has been exposed to the stress and stigma of a parent's substance use

  • into to who we are and how might stress impact you

  • system navigation

  • mental health toolkit


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.