I am an Advanced Care Paramedic in Ontario, with over 13 years of experience. I possess a Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine from Victoria University, for which I received the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010. Along with being an educator with organizations such as Georgian College and the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, I am an avid writer and have published a book titled Save-My-Life School: A first responder’s mental health journey, whose foreword was written by 6-time Canadian Olympian and mental health advocate Clara Hughes, and articles in the Canadian Paramedicine Magazine and the Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS). I am also proud to be a BellLet’sTalk Ambassador.
I was a member of the 1st Place Primary Care Paramedic Team at the Durham National Paramedic Competition in 2004, and am a trainer for the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. I was honoured to receive the John Graves Simcoe Medal of Honour from MPP Alex Nuttal, and to be named one of MPP Ann Hoggarth’s Leading Women in 2017. I also gratefully received the Tema Conter Memorial Resiliency Award in 2017.
I am a passionate mental health advocate as a post traumatic stress injury, addiction and suicide survivor. I endeavour to break down the barriers of mental health stigma by telling the story of my recovery at awareness events and through this blog, as well as by sharing my peer support model, ‘Wings of Change’, across the Country.
I am also proud to have had I voice in the successful implementation of Ontario’s ‘PTSD Bill’, Bill: 163, and Canada’s ‘PTSD Bill’, C-211.
Being a paramedic is one of the best professions on earth, but sadly it will expose paramedics, as well as all other first responders, healthcare professionals and military members to traumatic events. I hope my blog will educate and help anyone with mental health illnesses (paramedic or not), and encourage them to talk and get help.
Let the journey…continue.