Knowles receives funding from Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

January 26, 2022

News Release

Made in Canada program brings resources to Manitoba care providers of high-risk youth who are facing stress and mental health challenges

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant brings an innovative training framework to Knowles Centre as an investment in supporting youth mental health and wellness.

Winnipeg, MB (January 26, 2022) - Everyone responds to stress differently. How we respond depends on our energy levels and tension. When we experience a barrage of stressors - big and little - it can become an overload and contribute to deeper mental health struggles.

The young people that come to Knowles Centre bring with them many life stressors from the trauma and upheaval they have lived. This often manifests as challenging, defiant, self-harmful, or otherwise unproductive behaviours.

With the support of a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund, Lauren Hershfield, Clinical Director of Knowles Centre, along with Knowles Centre's clinical therapist, Melissa Beaudry, and Dr. Hygiea Casiano, forensic and child/adolescent psychiatrist, are being trained in the Dr. Stuart Shanker Self-Reg© model. They will then be able to work to incorporate this framework into the operations of their organizations as well as go on to train other therapists, case managers and youth care practitioners.

Dr. Shanker's framework offers a different way to view behaviour as a stress response. The goal of this training initiative is to be able to reframe youth's stress responses in this deliberate way, so staff can help them to develop personalized strategies to promote resiliency, healing, and growth. The framework helps to give youth a new set of tools to respond to stress.

Self-Reg is designed to deal with all the ups and downs of everyday life. Our reactivity to stress is constantly changing with our energy levels and other factors just as the stresses themselves are changing.

The model incorporates a range of knowledge and teachings with two of the core philosophies being "calm begets calm", meaning Self-Reg practitioners must be able to recognize and respond to their own stress responses before helping youth; and understanding "why this behaviour and why now", a reminder that the behaviour is a response to stress.


"Self-Reg aligns with our beliefs that every person, regardless of age, history or experience, can do well when they have the skills to do so. We are excited to have our staff learn this innovative framework and integrate it into our daily operations."

- Dr. Michael Burdz, CEO of Knowles Centre

"The Self-Reg work that the Knowles Centre is doing is an inspiring example of how Bell's Let's Talk can help to change lives."

- Stuart Shanker, Founder & Visionary, The MEHRIT Centre

"Bell Let's Talk is pleased to support Knowles Centre to help high-risk youth in Winnipeg get the mental care and support they need. The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund provides grants to mental health organizations across the country, like Knowles Centre, that are working to expand access to mental health care programs for more young people close to home."

- Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk

Today (January 26, 2022) is Bell Let's Talk Day

Today Bell donates an additional 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long-distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let's Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat lens. All at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service provider for online or phone access.

Bell Let's Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit


  • Stress-linked behaviour challenges are leading causes for youth to be referred to the Knowles Centre.
  • These behaviour challenges can impact school attendance, mental health and wellness, therapy participation and may lead to at-risk behaviour when away from the Centre.
  • As of March 31, 2021, there were 9850 children in care in Manitoba, including 343 in group care and treatment homes, like Knowles Centre.

Learn more

For 114 years, the Knowles Centre has enriched the lives of youth in Manitoba through support, treatment and care. What began as an orphanage for boys is now a non-profit, co-ed treatment and life-skills centre that supports young people from birth to 21 years of age as well as their families. Many of our clients have been affected by neglect, physical or sexual abuse, addictions and violence, and may also come from families that have been challenged by generations of trauma and/or extreme poverty. Our programs include Healing Homes, Treatment Foster Care, Supported Advancement to Independent Living (SAIL), Day Treatment, Sexual Abuse Treatment, and the Moving Forward counselling program, plus several auxiliary programs. To learn more visit

Self-Reg© is a Canadian-developed, industry-leading framework proven to decrease challenging or oppositional behaviours. The Self-Reg Framework is an all-encompassing model of self-regulation grounded in neurophysiology. The core is the belief that there is no such thing as a bad child, but rather only stress behavior. This assumes the good in every person and focuses on skills and abilities that youth have yet to develop. Self-Reg is rooted in a belief that everyone can do well when they have the skills to do so.

To learn more visit

Media contacts

Knowles Centre Inc.

Janet Hamel

Marketing and Communications Manager

204-339-1951 ext.174


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