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Moving Forward Together

October 24, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 4:00 pm


Canadian Mental Health Association Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk in partnership with the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk PTSD Symposium Planning Committee presents

Moving Forward Together

4th Annual Symposium on PTSD and Secondary Trauma for First Responders and High-Stress Workers

Working in a stressful helping profession can be very rewarding, yet it is also one that can be emotionally and physically draining. The need for awareness of work-related trauma symptoms, as well as prevention techniques through professional and personal self care is essential.

Compassion fatigue, burnout, vicarious and secondary trauma, PTSD and other types of psychological trauma are very common in the first responder and high stress worker professions. Yet most do not come forward for fear of stigma or reprisal.

What is emotional and psychological trauma?

Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter one’s sense of security, making them feel helpless in their environment.

Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life, however any situation that leaves a person feeling overwhelmed can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. The more frightened and helpless a person feels, the more likely they are to be traumatized.

Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by:

  • One-time events, such as an accident, injury, violence, exposure to disturbing situations and incidents
  • Ongoing, relentless stress, marked alterations in physical arousal and reactivity, i.e. hyper-vigilance or difficulty concentrating


First Responders, Dispatchers, Medical Staff, Correctional Officers, Military Personnel, Crisis Workers, Probation Officers, Teachers, Social Workers, Caseworkers for; Victim Services, Court, Family and Children’s Services, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Addictions and Mental Health and all others working in positions where they may be exposed to situations of trauma and violence, due to the
nature of their work.


8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker
Dave Carroll, a former volunteer firefighter, singer-songwriter and author, is touring across North American to pay tribute to first responders for keeping the promises they make to the communities they serve. Dave will be performing his song Everyday Heroes, 911song, as well as speaking on the impact of PTSD.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – 12 noon Panel Presentation
Comprised of persons impacted by work-related trauma, family members of those living with PTSD, as well as Charlene O’Connor from Homewood Health Traumatic Stress Recovery Program.

12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch (provided)

12:45 – 1:45 p.m. First Eyes® Proactive Mental Health Program.
Dan Bowers is a former Detective Sergeant, OPP, who has been living with PTSD for over 25 years. As a result, Dan created First Eyes® in the hope of saving relationships, families, friends and lives.

1:45 – 2:00 p.m. Break

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Being Consciously Competent about Managing Peer Support
Former Staff Sergeant Sylvio (Syd) Gravel , Ottawa
Police Service. Syd is a former staff sergeant with 31
years of experience with the Ottawa Police Service.
Syd is a more than 29 year PTSD survivor and has
been a peer supporter since 1988.

3:00 – 3:50 p.m. Decompressing with Meditation
Reverend Dr. Bhante Saranapala, The Urban Buddhist Monk, Meditation and Mindfulness Coach. Back by popular demand, Reverend Saranapala will take us through meditation and mindfulness exercises to quiet the noise in our minds so we can build our resiliency to stress.

3:50 – 4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks


Registration and payment can now be done online at: https://bhn.cmha.ca/events/moving-forwardtogether-4th-annual-symposium-on-ptsdand-secondary-trauma/

Cost: $70.00 per person

Registration fee includes lunch and break refreshments. There will be no refunds for cancellations five days before the date of the event. All payments must be received before
the date of the event.

Please note: Limited subsidies available if required, please call to inquire.

Registration deadline: Friday, October 12, 2018

Spots are limited and we cannot ensure there will be space availability after the
deadline date. For more information, please contact:

Lill Petrella, Mental Health Promotion & Education Team Lead CMHA BHN, Brant Administrative Office

519-752-2998, ext. 112 or e-mail lill@cmhabhn.ca


For a printable flyer with more information about the presentations and presenters, click here


October 24, 2018
8:30 am - 4:00 pm


Canadian Mental Health Association


Paris Fairgrounds
139 Silver Street
Paris, Ontario N3L 1V5 Canada
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