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Suicide Prevention & Awareness for First Responders

Description: First responders are trained to face critical situations that most other people would run away from. The operational duties of first responders place them at an increased risk of developing a mental injury or illness, including operational stress injuries, depression, substance use and suicide ideation.  

In addition, first responders deal with distinctive professional factors, including demanding shift schedules, exposure to traumatic events and vicarious trauma, public scrutiny, as well as social and cultural expectations of first responders. How do we take care of those whose very purpose and job are to help others in times of crisis?

Evidence shows that reducing stigma, raising awareness, building resilience and developing coping skills are effective strategies that can help first responders prepare for and deal with some of the events and situations they may encounter on the job.

Join us and learn about innovative and effective approaches to suicide prevention. In this upcoming webinar, our guest speakers will provide an overview of the trends and evidence around suicide and first responders. More importantly, you will learn how education, awareness and training can help increase help-seeking behaviours and build suicide prevention capacity within first responder organizations and the community at large. 

Guest Speaker:

Tom Walker, MSW, RSW
Human Factors Specialist
Ornge

About the Speaker:

Tom Walker has worked in the field of social services for 28 years. He is currently a Human Factors Specialist with Ornge where his key responsibility is providing therapeutic interventions for paramedics and staff, and is developing and implementing a peer support program and working towards a healthy workplace environment. He is a trainer and consultant with the Crisis Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI). Previously he worked as the Clinical Supervisor of Nexus Youth Services and the Concurrent Disorders Program. He is a trained Clinical Traumatologist & Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist, lead trainer and consultant with the Canadian Traumatology Institute.

Tom has a private practice where he also works with trauma, suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, addictions and mental health counselling for adolescents, adults and families. He also teaches in Post Graduate Programs for Concurrent Disorders at Seneca College and Humber College. He has worked Director of Business Development and Training with CTI where he “trained people helping people” and took leadership roles with the Youth Worker Training Initiative and the Breaking the Cycle program (Youth Gang Exit Strategy).