Tema Conter Memorial Trust was established 15 years ago to support emergency services and military personnel - they "aim to help these men and women when they need it most." In response to the large amount of PTSD-related suicide Tema Conter created the Heroes are Human Resiliency PTSD Awareness Tour which will begin a cross-country tour of 48 cities, leaving Newfoundland May 2nd, travel coast to coast and end in Toronto July 22, 2016. The tour will be launched April 25, 2016 in Toronto with a preview of the educational event at Fines Ford Lincoln Sales (10 Simona Drive) between 11am and 1pm. Bob Fines, owner of the dealership will also provide the tour vehicles.
This is the second tour they have undertaken, the first in 2014 and now the 2016 tour to provide more information and build on the success of the earlier tour and the passage of Bill 163. Tour sponsors include the OPP Association, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, CUPE 905, Wounded Warriors Canada, the friends and family of Cpl Ken Baker, the Humber College Health Sciences as well as the Saskatchewan Government and the General Employees Union.
“These men and women see tragic events every day,” said Vince Savoia, founder and executive director of the Trust. “They witness human suffering up close and it sometimes becomes very difficult to cope with the aftermath. Smells, sounds and reliving witnessed events create lasting painful memories that sometimes haunt these men and women for life”.
"Toronto, Ontario - We would like to congratulate Honourable Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and MPP Cheri Di Novo, Parkdale/High Park for their tireless work in advancing this historic bill.
This legislation will authorize the Ministry of Labour to request and publish PTSD prevention plans from employers. It is our hope that these plans will require organizations to develop a comprehensive mental health wellness strategy, which include the enhancement of mental health awareness and stigma reduction, mitigation, intervention, accommodation and back-to-work policies and procedures.
We applaud this legislation, but we must remember that first responders may suffer from a variety of mental health issues, including, but not limited to cumulative stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. These stressors can be as debilitating as post-traumatic stress disorder. Currently, these stressors are not recognized in this legislation. We hope, that with time, these additional stressors will be recognized and included in future amendments."