Bringing together research, treatment, and support
Pete Barker was born in 1962 in a place called England. He was part of the British invasion into Calgary policing for which he is forever grateful! I was adopted at an early age and love and respect my parents dearly. They and my sister passed away in the 90s. Also tumultuous were my schooling years as learning did not come easily to me. I joined the Royal Navy in 1978 a matter of weeks after leaving school and was whisked away to complete basic training, and then onto my naval career which lasted ten years. This took me all over the world; to war zones, and working with many different nations. I even managed to fit in living in Hong Kong for a year and got married in 1984 to Mandie who was in the Women’s RAF at the time. After the navy, I joined the West Yorkshire Police in 1989 working in Bradford. I trained dogs all my life and therefore quickly transferred to the K9 section where I spent nearly 18 years. During these years, other challenges arose such as dog-partner injuries, fire, personal injuries, work tragedies and riots while raising two sons!! We left the UK in 2008 to join Canadian policing and ended up in Calgary where I completed my basic training and then was posted to a district. This was a huge culture change for us but we are now settled and enjoying life again. I have volunteered and trained K9 for 4H, gone back to University and completed a couple of certificates, and even had my picture on the back of a bus. Oh and I have been on TV a few times.........
Matthew Cameron served two tours with 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry: Bosnia 2002, and Afghanistan 2006. Currently a part-time firefighter with the town of Cochrane, Matt is also a house attendant with the Legacy Place Society providing peer support for first responders and military personnel and their families.
Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Regina and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment. He has published 100+ peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters exploring anxiety and trauma related disorders. He has completed 170+ national and international conference presentations, and serves in various editorial capacities for several international peer-reviewed journals. He has received many prestigious awards and is actively involved in researching assessment and treatment of anxiety and trauma. He maintains a small private practice for military and first responders who have posttraumatic stress disorder.
Nathalie Dufresne-Meek began her career with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) as a Parole Officer in the early ‘90s. While completing a Masters degree in Applied Criminology at the University of Ottawa, she also spent time teaching at the undergraduate level in the criminology department. She then joined the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) as a claims adjudicator in 1995, and then progressed to an Account Manager position, where she supported large construction employers with cost reduction strategies, focused on improved accident prevention and return to work. Nathalie then took on management roles for a WSIB small business team. In 2006, Nathalie returned to the CSC to coordinate the return to work program. She became the Director of the Workplace Wellness & Employee Wellbeing directorate, leading a team of 40 staff dedicated to the improvement of employee wellbeing. Today, she is the Director General of the Executive Secretariat Sector which includes the Intergovernmental Relations team.
Is the Executive Director of Legacy Place Society – a Canadian registered charity that provides advocacy and bridge of support to the individuals and families of First Responders and Military Personnel.
Diana has unconventionally been associated to the First Responder and Military community from a very young age due to growing up in foster care and numerous tough circumstances of life that include what all too often Victim Services navigate thru.
Aside from having a degree in Business Management and other associated certifications with grief, and trauma, Diana is a CISM peer supporter and Mental Health First Aid instructor. Along with mentoring youth and leading teams logistically with humanitarian mission trips to places including Haiti, Mexico, Burma and the Philippines, Diana enjoys landscaping, a cool beer and conversation.
By choosing to be a student of life due to the complex PTSD she personally deals with, perseverance and advocating for people in reducing the stigma to mental health, Diana believes and endeavors to bring hope and optimism in all she encounters.
Within the objectives of Legacy Place Society and working with the broader community of the Legacy Family of First Responders and Military Personnel, she has the unique opportunity to encourage collaboration with the various services, bridge conversations and draw community funding to increase awareness along with resource support to the mental health and stress injuries associated to our Community Heroes.
Dr. Patricia Kostouros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work at Mount Royal University primarily teaching in the Child and Youth Care Counsellor major or the Bachelor of Child Studies. Patricia’s research interests include Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue, the topic of her Master’s thesis, and PhD dissertation. Patricia holds research grants as a collaborative partner in research related to Intimate Partner Violence on post-secondary campuses and studies related to depicting suffering as well as a provincial study on Compassion Fatigue in Victim Services. Patricia also provides Critical Incident Debriefing for child and youth serving agencies in Calgary and most of her career has been related to reducing violence and crisis management. Patricia is a practicing registered psychologist and approved provisional supervisor. Patricia has an expertise in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Intimate Partner Violence. Prior to her work in academia Patricia managed a youth shelter, a women’s shelter, and was the Executive Director of a residence for women with a trauma history and a dual diagnosis. She has been a board member for a domestic violence-serving agency and presently acts as the Vice-President South for the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta.
Major Roxanne Laforest completed both her Bachelor degree and Master degree in social work at l’Université du Québec en Outaouais, l’Université Libre de Bruxelles and Ottawa University.
She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2005 as a Social Work Officer. Since then, she has served at CFB Petawawa, St-Jean-sur-le Richelieu, CFB Trenton, and CFB Shilo. Currently, Maj Laforest is the Psychosocial Program Manager for Canadian Forces Base Edmonton and is the Social Work Professional Technical Advisor for the western area. She has been deployed on 5 occasions in Cyprus for the Third Location Decompression. She presented the Road to Mental Readiness to Canadian Force members in several contexts including on board Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg in the Atlantic.
Brad Nichols attended Mount Royal University, obtaining a degree in Justice Studies. Once graduated, he worked municipal enforcement for a rural county before joining the Calgary Humane Society team in 2005 as a Special Constable. Over the last decade he has been promoted to field supervisor, Department Head of Protection and Investigations and most recently, Senior Manager, Animal Cruelty Investigations. During his 12 years with CHS, he has investigated thousands of animal cruelty files and seized hundreds of animals towards prosecution and conviction files. In the last several years, his department has obtained a high public profile and is internationally recognized as a leader in animal cruelty investigations. He has forged strong strategic partnerships with several police agencies and forensically inclined veterinarians toward constant improvements in animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions.
Dr. Peterson graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2007. The first 10 years of her career were spent in the Outpatient Mental Health Program with Alberta Health Services, providing psychotherapy to patients with a wide range of mild to severe mental health concerns. During Dr. Peterson’s time in community mental health she was also involved in the training of residents and practicum students, facilitating group therapy, conducting psychological assessments, community consultations, and program development. Her strong interest in the areas of trauma and resilience motivated her to obtain advanced training in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She is a certified provider of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), has obtained advanced training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), and is an Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) practitioner. Dr. Peterson is committed to providing evidence-based psychotherapy services and is a credentialed therapist with the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies (CACBT-ACTCC). She currently resides in Calgary and works in private practice.
Dawn Rault graduated from Mount Royal University with a diploma in criminology and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. She completed her MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, focusing on health education in post-conflict countries. Dawn is currently completing a PhD in Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary with a focus in Population and Public Health. In recent years, she has worked with the City of Calgary Community Standards, Canadian Red Cross, University of Calgary, and numerous community based-organizations in Albert and British Columbia. She has been an instructor with the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University since 2006 and teaches ten courses, including research methods, young persons in conflict with the law, diversity and the justice system, interviewing, and practicum seminars. Her research focuses on the enforcement of animal laws and the work of peace and bylaw officers in Alberta.
Marney is the manager of the Carewest OSI clinic in Calgary and she is a Registered Nurse by profession. She has followed her passion of working in the area of mental health throughout her career in many settings and cities in Alberta over the past three decades. Her passion for program development and implementation to better serve clients has brought her great joy in seeing projects come to fruition. She has managed a variety of community mental health programs and really feels this current position to be the most rewarding. Marney has been managing the OSI clinic since 2009 and has continued to strive to add programs and services to better meet the needs of those veterans, RCMP and military members who have served our country.
Elisabeth Saxton obtained her Doctor of Psychology in 2005 and during her internship she discovered a passion for working with individuals who have suffered from both physical and mental occupational injuries. She continues to work as part of an interdisciplinary team doing both assessment and treatment for workers with a variety of presenting issues. Elisabeth joined OrionHealth in 2009 as a clinical psychologist and began developing innovative programs to address specific needs for those with pain and/or trauma. Elisabeth empowers clinicians to innovate, creates teams that collaborate seamlessly, and develops dynamic and effective programs for clients. She is a liaison with our referral sources, and believes clinicians are our strength; not only through their skills, but also through their passion; and that our treatment is truly interdisciplinary.
Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz is Associate Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, at the University of Calgary. A Registered Psychologist (Alberta) practicing in school and private settings for over 20 years, he holds a PhD in Social Psychology and an MSc in School and Community Psychology. His research focuses on how psychosocial factors and developmental assets contribute to healthy child and family development. Dr. Schwartz has held national and international grants for his research, has published articles and chapters in academic and common publications, and has presented symposia and invited lectures at over 40 national and international conferences.
Dr. Andrew Szeto is currently the Director of the Campus Mental Health Strategy at the University of Calgary responsible for guiding the implementation of the 28 recommendations within the University of Calgary Mental Health Strategy. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Mental Health Commission of Canada and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Over the past six years, Dr. Szeto has focused on the evaluation of workplace mental illness, anti-stigma, and mental health promotion programs. He currently works with numerous organizations from different sectors across Canada to implement and evaluate these programs. Two of his current successes include the adaptation and development of workplace mental health awareness and mental illness stigma reduction programs called The Working Mind and the Road to Mental Readiness for first responders (both of which have been built on the R2MR program from the Canadian Department of National Defence). Recently, he and his colleague (Dr. Keith Dobson) received a grant to adapt and develop The Working Mind into a program tailored for university students. Dr. Szeto also conducts basic research that examines the stigma of mental illness with social psychological methods and theories, including research on labelling, attitudes, and new interventions to reduce stigma. He has published academic articles on various topics related to the stigma of mental illness.
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