First Responder Military Personnel Mental Wellness Suicide Awareness Conference Edmonton September 26, 2019


On September 26, 2019 Legacy Place Society, in collaboration with the Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services-Emergency Medical Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be co-hosting the First Responder and Military Personnel Mental Wellness Suicide Awareness Conference in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day.  Agenda is forthcoming.  SEE LINK FOR EDMONTON SPEAKER LINE UP AND REGISTRATION

YEG 2019 First Responder Conference Sponsorship


KEY NOTE SPEAKER – Roberts aka The Skidrow CEO is an expert on resiliency and change…  Having experienced both catastrophic failure and extraordinary success Joe teaches how to overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of high performance. He helps companies and individuals redefine what’s truly possible by confronting limiting mindsets. Participants at Joes’ events leave inspired and moved to action.   What is most amazing about Joe is that in 1989 he was living on the streets of Vancouver as a homeless skid row addict. Through perseverance, joe (2)determination and his resilient human spirit, Joe pulled himself out of the darkness and despair, to become a highly respected business and community leader.   Joe’s message is relatable, humorous, honest, raw and unforgettable.  He tackles the stigma associated with mental health and addiction in a straight forward authentic way that comes from his personal life experiences.  Joe has been recognized by MacLean’s Magazine as one of “10 Canadians who make a difference,” won the BC Courage to Come Back Award, received The Ontario Premier’s Award for Business, was given an Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University and was recognized by the Senate of Canada with their Canada 150 Medal.  Recently Joe was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from The Governor General of Canada.  Joe is also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Push for Change Foundation, a charity advocating for youth homelessness prevention.  Joe walked 9041KM across Canada from May 1, 2016 until September 29, 2017, pushing a shopping cart to raise money and awareness about youth homelessness.  Joe is going to share his experiences around mental health, addiction, resiliency and his interaction with first responders during his incredible journey.


SPEAKER – MATT PETRIE “Big Boy’s Don’t Cry”:  The barriers to accessing therapy…Matt Petrie is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a practicing Registered Provisional Psychologist who currently works with a variety of clients in the field of mental health.  AfteMike Petrie pic bio for EB and weg (4)r being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2005, Matt began the long road to post traumatic healing and growth.  As a result of his Occupational Stress Injury he realized that his passion was to help others and he consequently completed his Masters in Psychology in 2010.  For the past several years, Matt has been working with first responders, military and correctional officers assisting them to overcome the many challenges associated with Occupational Stress Injuries.  Through his own journey to post traumatic growth he has recognized that finding balance in one’s life is essential to moving forward in a healthy manner.  Building resiliency provides the tools necessary to prevent and or minimize the effects of exposure to trauma.  Matt is going to share his experiences, common fears, challenges and barriers to accessing therapy.

 SPEAKER – SEAN CONOHAN – Crushing the stigma that surrounds Mental Illness.  More Love, Less Judgement… Sean Conohan is well known for his candid approach and conversation about mentalsean health, especially with direct focus towards mental wellness of First Responders. After 17 years of working as a Paramedic and Volunteer Fire Fighter in Nova Scotia, Sean was forced to change careers due to PTSD in March 2014.

Once he got back on his feet, he wanted to do something to educate himself and others about mental illness/PTSD in general, but focusing on why and how it affects First Responders at such an alarming rate. 

In January 2016, Sean launched his podcast called UpTalk Podcast – hosted by The Mental Health News Radio Network.  In recent months, he has entered Season 4 and published almost 80 chats with guests who have shared their stories of hope and resilience.

SPEAKER  – DR MARK KOLODZIEJ – Life Satisfaction – Identifying our needs post trauma;  Sleepless days and sleepless nights – understanding sleep… 

Holder of 2 PhD’s, Dr Mark Kolodziej is As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc sitepassionate about helping people become the best that they can be.  A certified psychotherapist, Mark specializes in relationships with couples, families, the LGBTQ community, co-workers as well dealing with trauma.  A former member of Canada’s Olympic volleyball team, Mark also teaches performance enhancement in sport, education and the workplace.  As a body language coach Mark assists people to develop the image that they would like to portray to others and this is done with setting that include Equine Therapy.  Mark has worked for more than 20 years teaching and counselling on numerous subjects with first responders, military personnel and is also a member of the Legacy Place Society Program Advisory Board and it’s Family Wellness initiatives.  We look forward to having Dr Kolodziej provide insight on sleep behavior, trauma impact on the family, relationships and overall wellness to improve life satisfaction. 

SPEAKER – TERESA COULTER – Lessons from a First Responders Art Studio – Beyond the language of Emotions…  Canadian emerging Artist, Teresa Coulter lives in Calgary Alberta Canada. She is known for her Abstract Expressionism. Her portrait series called “Sock Drawer Stories” forged a Teresa Coulter pic bio for EB and web (3)new pathway to address the social stigmas associated with Mental Health in the workplace. What started as a small artistic venture to heal herself, as well as Paramedic colleagues, has since grown into a narrative on a national stage.  Teresa’s art raised awareness of Mental Health well beyond her Art studio, and first-responder network including collaborations with the Calgary Police Services, Legacy Place Society, The Other Side of the Hero documentary; the #nowimstronger 60 day campaign with Canadian Mental Health; White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman; and Uptalk podcast with Sean Conohan.  Since 2000 Teresa Coulter has been a Practicing Primary Care Paramedic and continues to work at building resilience in the First Responder community. In her words “Art remains a strong contender of how we share our thoughts and ideas, creating a place to share without judgment. I have no grand illusions that art will create a revolution in the traditional sense, but I have witnessed the powerful changes it can make for an individual. Just one new idea can change a person’s perspective. The world may not change in an instant, by art, but there is a connection one can experience when words are not able to explain the often confusion language of emotions. Connect to your passion and use it as your action for change.”  

 SPEAKER – LISA ADAMS and MIKE ADAMS – Peer Support, Marriage and the Figuring Out What to do When that Call Comes In…. Lisa has been a part of the Lisa Michael Adams pic bio for EB and web (5)military family for over 20 years.  As a Life Coach, she brings a very unique approach to dealing with trauma that stems from her marriage to a Military member who was injured and diagnosed with PTSD in 2006.  Lisa has experience working in education, helping those who have had trauma, special needs and learning disabilities.

She has been a volunteer with the Peer Support Program with OSISS for the past 3 years. Lisa has a mission to educate and empower people one person at a time and has multiple diplomas in Professional PTSD Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Techniques, Empowerment Life Coaching, Reiki Master, Fitness and Nutrition. 

Michael Adams is currently serving member in the Canadian Armed forces.  Mike’s career has spanned over 23 years starting as a member of 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.   

He’s had Lisa Michael Adams pic bio for EB and web (6)multiple deployments including Bosnia in 2000 and multiple tours in Afghanistan along with numerous Canadian based deployments 97 floods in Winnipeg, 98 Ice Storm in Quebec, BC Fires multiple times and any other typically associated natural disasters.  

Mike will share several struggle incidents that has made an impact to his family, friendly fire loss, survivor guilt, what’s helped what has not and what it’s like to come out of PTSD remission and back into therapy. We look forward to having both Lisa and Mike share their journey with a vulnerable yet candid approach and the courage to press forward.

SPEAKER – LAUREN HOPE-CLEVELAND – Time:  It’s value to the family and soul!  Lauren Hope-Cleveland is well known for her enthusiasm and ability to connect and encourage others to grow through the unique lifestyle associated to life as first Lauren Clevelandresponders.  Lauren’s personal journey as a Corrections Officer in Federal Institutions has caused her to recognize the value of acknowledging the cost it was taking on her well being and that of her family, including 2 young boys and police officer husband.  Anxiety, insomnia and addictions can be debilitating and send a person and family into a downward spiral. 

By investing in her personal health, Lauren has become a life coach and has contributed in compelling ways to her work colleagues and the greater community of first responders. We look forward to having Lauren share about her journey and the value she’s learned from her struggles of emotional injuries.

SPEAKER – JACK RENNIE – A Ship Is Safest When At Port… But That’s Not What Ships Are Built For..  Jack Rennie, an Advanced Care Paramedic in La Ronge, Saskatchewan began his career in 2010.  Upon being exposed to the suffering within the first responder community, he has made it his personal mission to attempt to create changRennie17-178-015 (002)e within the profession and legislation including recently taking on as a volunteer Director of Mental Health and Wellness for the Association of Saskatchewan Paramedics.  

In 2015 with the help and support of the owners of Moose Jaw and District EMS, he spearheaded Saskatchewan’s first PTSD Awareness Campaign in Saskatchewan.  An avid traveler to over 20 countries, Jack obtained his Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in India and currently teaches yoga to the community members of Montreal Lake.  Jack currently lives on an acreage in Christopher Lake Saskatchewan where he plans to open a retreat center for OSI/PTSD and trauma recovery.  We look forward to having Jack share his journey, learning’s and humbling truths about his career as a Paramedic.