NEW Program Offering: The Purple Garden

This six-week on-line program for adults with epilepsy and their caregivers uses mindfulness and creative play to build hope and resiliency in daily life. Depending on the needs and interests of the participants, we will explore a range of creative expressions including movement and rhythm, visual arts, storytelling, and poetry as ways to work through issues such as depression, anxiety, self-advocacy, self-esteem, burnout and isolation. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an artist to benefit from this workshop and you don’t need any special art supplies! We will tailor our activities to your needs and comfort level.

Sessions take place Mondays from 2-330PM Via ZOOM. 

Cost: FREE

Session dates: 

July 19, 

July 26, 

Aug. 9, 

Aug. 16, 

Aug. 23, 

and Aug. 30.

For more info and to register email us at helloepilepsysimcoe@gmail.com

Expressive Arts Therapy focuses on expression, imagination, active participation, and the mind-body connection.  We explore various forms of expression, such as movement, rhythm, storytelling, journal writing, poetry, mark-making, drawing, and sculpture, voice, etc.  During the therapy session we move from one form to another.  Experience in the arts is not required and play is a fundamental part of the therapeutic process.  Each week will begin with a check-in, followed by a land acknowledgment and mindfulness exercise.  The mindfulness exercise acts as a portal, warming up the imagination and preparing participants for the main creative event.   Each week will offer a  different approach to creative expression.  For example, we might start with reflecting on a question and journal writing.  This might lead to mark-making or drawing/doodling, and then back to journaling.  Sharing is encouraged.  Through play, active imagination and creativity, we can have fun, reduce stress, and allow for alternative ways of thinking and being to emerge.  

Our work is client-centered.  We follow the needs of you, the client.  We believe that all of us are creative beings and that creativity is a source of healing strength and transformation.  We value an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and confidentiality.  

The Purple Garden program promotes:

  •  socialization and communication through social connection and support network
  •  resources to address stress, anxiety and feelings of depression
  •  self-awareness and self-expression
  •  aesthetic pleasure; personal fulfillment and development
  •  spontaneous production and trust; comfort in “going with the flow”
  •  building resilience, adaptability and self-esteem

Facilitator BIO’s

Rhonda Breitbach and Luci Dilkus are students in their third year of the Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma program at the Create Institute in Toronto. 

At her home in Collingwood, Rhonda enjoys spending time outside in her garden, on the trails, and by the lake. She is a certified yoga teacher and can often be found salsa dancing with her husband, playing with her dog, riding her bike, or painting. Rhonda completed her BA at McGill, MA in English Literature at UBC, and Bachelor of Education degree at York University. She has lived and taught in several countries around the world, including Spain, Czechoslovakia and Ecuador. When she is not studying expressive arts, Rhonda teaches French part-time at a local elementary school. You can find her virtually on Instagram @rkbexpressivearts

Luci lives in Tiny with her husband Anton, dog Ella and cat Bro.   An avid un-gardener, she prefers to be surrounded by trees and rocks and native wildflowers; although she also delights in herbs and vegetables that sometimes thrive in her cedar boxes.  She finds solace in forest walks that lead to the sacred waters of Georgian Bay and forever a novice, she enjoys her weekly riding lessons on a horse named Pig.  

Luci has a BA in Liberal Studies with a Fine Arts Theme from York University and an MFA from the Vermont College of Art.  Her work has been exhibited in Ontario, the US and in Lithuania and she curated/managed Le Studio Gallery in Lafontaine for several years. You can see some of her work on her Facebook page, lucidilkus.ca.  In addition to her Expressive Arts Therapy training, she is enrolled in an Eco-therapy course and with her enthusiasm for play, hopes to pursue classes in clowning. 

Past participants in similar expressive arts programs said:

“The most important was just meeting with the people, building connection with others via art, sharing the experience of expressing our feelings in various and unexpected ways.”

“I am unsure of myself and I judge myself harshly and have a hard time with trying something new. Friendly atmosphere (no rush, no pressure, no judgment!), listening to the others, sharing ideas put those feelings in perspective.”

For more info and to register email us at helloepilepsysimcoe@gmail.com

To learn more about CREATE visit: http://www.thecreateinstitute.org/


NEW: Gals that Give Caregiver Support Program

Introducing the Gals that Give Caregiver Support Program

This program is designed to assist caregivers who support individuals living with epilepsy in Simcoe County.

Who is a Caregiver?: A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves. Caregivers may be family members, friends, siblings, health care professionals and social workers.

Participants who attend the monthly virtual program will have a chance to meet other caregivers who are going through similar situations. Caregivers will be encouraged to offer each other peer support, knowledge, and possibly friendships. 

Support group sessions will be held on ZOOM and will occur the first Tuesday of each month from 2:30-3:30 pm. (Upcoming dates for 2021: July 6, Aug 3, Spt 7, Please be advised the Oct 5th session is cancelled.) 

This program is generously funded by the Gals that Give. Visit them today at www.galsthatgive.ca and learn about this wonderful organization and the amazing people involved.

To register, email us at helloepilepsysimcoe@gmail.com


We’re sharing the good news! Delta is offering a fabulous play at home version of BINGO during these restrictive periods.

You can play BINGO at home for real cash prizes with Delta Bingo & Gaming!

Don’t miss out, buy your cards today at www.DeltaBingo.Eventbrite.ca

Delta Bingo is a proud sponsor of Epilepsy Simcoe County, providing funds to support our on-going programs and services. Thank you so much Delta Bingo for all of your support!

#deltabingo #bingo #deltabingoathome #charitablegaming

A BIG Thank you to Delta Bingo

On a Sunday in June of 2019, myself and the team at Epilepsy Simcoe County set up an information booth at the Barrie Public Library, downtown. I want to thank Delta and Bingo for helping us fund this event. I spent the day talking to many adults and children, to my surprise one frequent question was, what is epilepsy?

I would explain that it is a neurological disease that can significantly affect a person’s life and cause a lack of independence, isolation, problems with education, employment, and the ability to drive. People living with epilepsy often feel isolated and alone. I know this from my own personal experience. I developed epilepsy as an infant, coping with this disease is a challenge and has not always been easy.

I had a wonderful opportunity to become a member and volunteer for Epilepsy Simcoe County eight years ago. We are a small group of seven very dedicated amazing board members and we have an awesome program director. They are always coming up with fresh original thoughtful ideas. At ESC we provide information and resources for people with a recent diagnosis or history of epilepsy. We hope that the education, advocacy and support we provide is reassuring for everyone in our community with epilepsy and their families.

A big thank you to Delta and Bingo, we use the funds raised through charitable gaming for our education, support, advocacy programs.

It’s all possible, because of your generous support.

Deborah Cormack, Board Member,  Epilepsy Simcoe County