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Edmonton First Responder & Military Personnel Mental Health & Suicide Awareness Conference September 27, 2018



Legacy Place is pleased to announce that Lieutenant-Colonel Adrian Norbash, Western Regional Lead for Mental Health in the Canadian Armed Forces will be speaking at the First Responder and Military Personnel Mental Wellness and Suicide Awareness Conference in Edmonton on September 27th.

After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University, Dr. Norbash attended medical school at the University of Calgary. 

Upon completion of Residency in 2004, Dr. Norbash initially served as a General Duty Medical Officer with a focus in Emergency and Operational Medicine. He deployed to Afghanistan in February, 2006 with the first Canadian battle group to engage in combat operations in the Kandahar region.

Returning to the University of Calgary for psychiatry, Adrian is a now Clinical psychiatrist and the clinical lead in mental health for the Canadian Forces Health Services Group in Western Canada.

roger brown yeg 18

Legacy Place is pleased to announce Roger Brown as the Key Note Speaker at the First Responder and Military Personnel Mental Wellness and Suicide Awareness Conference in Edmonton on September 27th, 2018. 

Roger will share a compelling journey and message specific to many levels of response to some of New Brunswick’s difficult headlines. 

“IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT”…We are often faced with challenges in both our personal and professional lives. Often, our decisions are far reaching and effect not only ourselves but the close to us and those we serve.

There is a critical component to the leadership required to deal with these events…. One that is often ignored. It’s time to change our focus.

A proud Newfoundlander, Roger Brown was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for more than 36 years retiring on June 4th 2016 as an Assistant Commissioner and the Commanding Officer for the province of New Brunswick. His career took him across Canada and abroad while working in a variety of disciplines; general duty policing, federal policing, drug enforcement, academic, human relations, protective policing, and a member of the senior executive.

Roger was invested as an officer of the order of merit, received the Commissioner’s commendation for his role in a major drug offload, was the recipient of the Michelle Comeau Award for exceptional leadership within the federal govt and most recently selected as one of 150 Canada’s leading difference makers in the area of mental health.

Roger guided his career based on a Theodore Rosevelt quote….”people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

Suzette shoulder photo

Legacy Place Society is pleased to have Suzette Brémault-Phillips speak at the Edmonton conference.  She is an Occupational Therapist and Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, at the University of Alberta who holds a PhD in Spirituality. Her research interests include medical rehabilitation; mental and spiritual health, fitness and resilience in military, veteran, first responder and civilian populations; aging and complex needs; inter-professional collaboration and capacity-building. An experienced clinician, educator, and researcher, she has provided service to individuals across the lifespan and health care continuum. She has taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels on topics of mental health, geriatrics, happiness, well-being, resilience and spirituality. 

gary and colette

Legacy Place Society welcomes Edmonton Police Service Sgt Gary Benoit and his wife Colette to the First Responders and Military Personnel Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Conference in Edmonton (Sept 27). Sgt Benoit will share how being involved in an Officer involved shooting impacted his mental health and that of his family in profound ways. Colette will share from a wife’s perspective of the difficulty surrounding the realization of the event at the time and then 8 years later when Cst Woodall had his life taken in the line of duty.  

The second guessing, struggle with emotions as a male officer, the what if’s carry very powerful emotions and impact.  The desire to have open communication about the event details and the time following with inquiries, the what if’s, would have’s, could have’s, should have’s was profoundly challenging.  The decisions to focus on several key areas tremendously brought balance to their marriage, life and careers.  


Dr Palfy

Legacy Place Society is pleased to have Dr Kelli Palfy share on the topic of “….and why am I here?”  With over 13 years experience within the RCMP including the Integrated Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, and Integrated Gang Task Force Unit, Kelli has a significant amount of personal and professional experience to draw from.  She will share on a number of aspects including what does “fit to work not look like”, “does getting into therapy help slow down and organize our thoughts and emotions so that nightmares could lessen?”, “removing the shame and what could like look like”.

As a Registered Psychologist (4675), Dr Palfy runs a private practice in Edmonton offering counseling services to adults (individuals, couples and groups) struggling with issues associated to childhood abuse/neglect, life transitions, harassment in the workplace, chronic illness, anxiety and depression. She completed her doctoral internship at the Cross Cancer Institute where she worked with adults struggling with cancer diagnosis, grief, loss, issues of faith and other major life transitions.

Dr Palfy has a strong interest in working with trauma related issues, specifically adult male survivors of sexual abuse; as well as issues associated to grief, loss and bullying and harassment in the workplace.


Legacy Place Society is pleased to annouce Shanda Harper who will be sharing on trauma informed and culturally specific Yoga.  Shanda was a sworn member of the Calgary Police Service for 10 years and is a Registered Yoga Teacher. 

Shanda has specialized with additional training in Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga and in 2017 attended the Yoga for First Responders Training in Denver Colorado.  She has blended these training’s and protocols to create a class that is culturally specific and trauma informed for first responders and military personnel.  Shanda has also blended her personal and professional experience to create a shared authentic experience providing tools for mental and physical fitness that provides support on and off the mat. 

For the purposes of our Edmonton conference, Shanda will share practical chair based and standing based posture techniques.  No matt required.  










Legacy Place Society is pleased to have Kirsty Langham as one of this years speakers.  She will be speaking on the topic of “suicide…moving on after the unthinkable”. 

Kirsty will share her story from two traumatic days; one of dispatching a police officer suicide and the second finding her police officer husband after he lost his life to suicide six weeks later.  She will discuss how the trauma and diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Injury, Complicated Grief as well as being a young widow has impacted her life both from a work and outside of work perspective.

Kirsty holds a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Criminal Justice which she achieved in 2015 during her time of recovery.  She graduated from a four year program in two years with Honours.  This was a vital key to her recovery for personal and work related viewpoints.  She is currently in her twentieth year of work with Calgary 911 and holds the position of Team Lead.

Kirsty has a strong passion for reducing the stigma surrounding suicide (specifically among First Responders),  and mental illness.  As well, how does the future look moving forward after trauma and grief.

Captain Ashley Collette

Legacy Place Society is pleased to have Captain Ashley Collette speak at the Edmonton First Responders and Military Personnel Mental Wellness and Suicide Awareness Conference on September 27, 2018.

Ashley Collette joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002. She completed her undergraduate degree at Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, ON. Following her graduation, she served as an Infantry Officer in the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment in Petawawa, ON. Ashley deployed on Operation ATHENA as a platoon commander in Afghanistan from May to December 2010, and was awarded the Military Medal of Valour for demonstrating front line leadership that was critical to her soldiers’ success during intense combat. Following her redeployment to Canada, Ashley was posted to Meaford ON, where she served as the training officer until she returned to study a Master of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, ON. 

Ashley was posted to Edmonton in 2015, where she works currently as a Social Work Officer. Her role focuses on providing therapeutic interventions for soldiers, in addition to clinical and administrative supervision of 14 mental health clinicians within the psychosocial department at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton. 

Ashley is currently completing her PhD at Royal Roads University part time, where she is focusing her research in the field of Post Traumatic Growth. 

Speaker to be announced (one more to announce!)


What are my transportation/parking options getting to the event?

  • Free ample parking is available at the Italian Cultural Center
  • September 27th 8:00 am to 4:30 pm YEG First Responder/Military Personnel Mental Health/Suicide Awareness Conference – registration opens at 7:15 am – please be in your seats for 7:55 am commencement of opening comments.

Registration Includes

  • Registration includes conference refreshments at morning and mid afternoon breaks, along with lunch.  Guest speaker books and merchandise (if available) will be a seperate purchase at the conference and payment will be handled directly thru the seller.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Payment details – Before you call, refresh your browser and try entering you info again.  Only Visa or Mastercard will be accepted.

  • Some places of work have firewall online purchase restrictions and your payment may not work and or the corporate credit card may not work.  It that is the case, try making purchase from home, use a personal credit card and expense it or email with your full name, best phone #, the # of tickets looking to purchase and the agency you work for.  A representative will contact you to arrange a payment.

Who is this For?

What is the targeted audience and are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

  • This event is open to First Responders, Military, spouses/support persons, retired or serving, and all staff/volunteers of these organizations and health care professions. For any questions – contact event organizers as noted above. Yes, proof of affiliation will be required.  Must be minimally 18 years old.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

  • Yes or use the event brite app – please also have breakfast off site prior to the events.  First coffee break is about 10 am.

Health and Wellness Exhibition:

  • Showcasing resources available to support the health and wellness of our First Responders and Military Personnel. If you would like to participate by setting up a booth, please contact


For our out of town guests the following hotel has been secured and are based on you making and paying for the booking directly with the hotel.  Booking prices on line may vary depending on your personal discount affiliations:

Chateau Nova Yellowhead 13920 Yellowhead Trail Edmonton, AB T5L 3C2 (780-454-5441)

Chateau Nova Kingsway 159 Airport Road NW Edmonton, AB T5G 0W6 (780-424-6682)




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For Immediate Help:

Contact (403) 201-9945

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis contact your
local crisis centre.