“We are here for you”

bolc_handshake250x135White3sides
 

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Annan

Badge of Life Canada Exists Through:

Serving

Active and retired Canadian municipal  & provincial police officers, 911 dispatchers, civilian support staff and families of all these police service members.

Vision

Badge of Life Canada enables individuals to have a safe place to go for direct support through making positive connections with volunteer peers, trauma and PTSD survivors and/or front line professionals. This vision is:

  • Proactive in Badge of Life Canada’s desire to be known before the incident occurs
  • A place for an individual or spouse/partner to have honest conversations,
  • Find resources and information when one is not sure where to go or of what a person may experience.

Values

The code of conduct or rule that Badge of Life Canada will operate by, and that our volunteers can be e-VALUE-ated by are:

  • Safety – Badge of Life Canada knows that comfort and trust are huge factors after critical or cumulative events, regardless of how long it takes to reach out, therefore when Badge of Life Canada makes a commitment to assist and support it will be fulfilled to the best of their ability and with confidentiality.
  • Compassion – the volunteer peer will provide a spirit of concern and understanding, to address some of the issues that may emerge – such as: abandonment, stigma, aloneness, anger.
  • Encouragement – Badge of Life Canada knows that to move forward it takes energy, courage and confidence and our volunteers will be there to support such forward moves, such as proactive mental health training and checks.
  • Service – Badge of Life Canada is volunteer driven; comprised of persons who are ready and able to serve as peers and to support. These persons are doing it as in a ‘pay-it-forward’ approach – their way of paying back those who contributed to their well-being and supported them or for some, a way in which they wished they would have been helped and supported.
  • Resources – Badge of Life Canada will freely share information, connections and other valuable resources for the benefit of those who come for support and assistance.
  • Instructive –Badge of Life Canada Volunteers are committed to speaking publicly and at every opportunity to supporting the importance of the voluntary health check concept. This concept is:
  • more than the physical, but mental and relational as well, along with other areas,
  • about building understanding of what trauma is for leaders, their role in reacting to trauma with their members and
  • building resilience to trauma for employees through pre-incident instruction and/or training.

The video tribute “RCMP Farewell to Our Brothers in Arms”by Leslie Ferguson has been moved to the video section Tributes and Memoriums.

15 responses to ““We are here for you”

  1. I just stumbled upon the film above made by Leslie Ann Ferguson. First of all Ms Leslie, I hope you are getting the proper, needed treatment to deal with your PTSD – those of us with it, each have different symptoms, and we respond differently to treatments offered. If you are still really hurting, you may need a med change or a Doctor change. I pray you’re getting better and am sending healing thoughts.

    Ms Leslie, may I have permission to download your film & share it? I would of course label it, (C) your name, and your rank. I don’t know how long this tribute video has been up, but I hope you get my message and grant me permission. Thank you for considering this!
    Kindest Regards, Deb & Dakota (Psychiatric Service Dog Extraordinaire!)

  2. I lost my job because of PTSD….now I have nothing and trying to get a new job has been difficult because what do you say when the interviewer asks why were you dismissed from your old job…how in the world can one answer that

  3. Wonderful blog! I’m happy to have found this site. I work in the medical field and suffer from PTSD/MAJOR DEPRESSION. My career is suffering as a result. Here’s to hoping we all find a way through PTSD.

  4. Rae-Lynne Dicks

    I lost my purpose in life, my bliss, when I realized that I could no longer be a 911 Operator. That realization was crushing, and debilitating for me. For many years I floundered and struggled to find a purpose for my life, alongside struggling to cope with PTSD, a lack of treatment availability and coverage.

    It was not until the beginning of year 4 in my BA degree that I began to understand what my new purpose in life would be. I remember that day and moment clearly. It was when I participated in a ‘introduce and learn the names of your classmates’ session of a new course that semester, Crim 1215 – Interpersonal Relations. When I told the class that I used to be a 911 operator, my prof stopped in her tracks and looked across the room at me. She told me, “I need to talk to you after class”… and that conversation was the beginning of a new purpose for me…. one that will come to fruition one day, very soon.

    So if you are struggling, floundering, at the end of what you thought would be your life’s work, your purpose for being… please know that it will come to you, likely when and where you are least expecting it… all you have to do is keep moving forward and don’t give up!

    • My best wishes to you Rae-Lynne, you are well on your way!

    • Cindy Armstrong

      Thank you for sharing Rae-Lynne. I too have found my purpose. I am still an EMS dispatcher and I too am suffering from PTSD. Mine is mild right now and I am getting help to deal with it. As I started to deal with it, I realized that many people do not really know what a 911 dispatcher does or experiences. They do not really understand how answering a phone can cause PTSD. I am sharing my story to whom ever listens. I want more people to understand and know what we are about. We are people with emotions who on a daily basis take calls from those desperate for help. We stomp our emotions down and suppress all feelings to help others. Then there is that one call that can “break the camel’s back” where all those emotions come flooding back. Just want to thank you for sharing your story, and I want to thank Badge of Life for everything you do for all emergency personnel and the military.

      THANK YOU!!!

  5. R.R. (Bob) Perry

    Life’s Transitions: Endings and New Beginnings

    There are a number of infallible truths about frontline policing including the potentially exacting psychological and physiological toll that accumulates through ones career. Our life environments seemed filled with the new norm of ongoing change.

    Building personal capacities for change is important however creating individual understanding around capacity to transition has greater utility in life’s journey. The key-differentiating factor between change and transition resides in the fact that “changes are driven to reach a goal, transitions start by letting go of what no longer fits or is adequate to the life stage you are in”. (Bridges, 2004, p.128).

    In my life journey I was introduced to an amazing book by William Bridges entitled, Transitions making sense of life’s changes (2nd ed.); I understand there is a more contemporary version available. As a foundational tenet Bridges (2004) explains, to gain you must first let go. Bridges (2004) proposes that all transitions are characterized and sequenced in terms of: first comes the ending, then a beginning and an important fallow time in between.

    Some of the valuable insights include (Bridges, 2004):

    • We transition into something not just transition from something.
    • Every transition begins with an ending… we have to let go of the old thing before we can pick up on the new one – not just outwardly but inwardly where we keep our connections to people and places that act as definitions of who we are.
    • When you are in transition, you find yourself coming back in new ways to old activities.
    • Two questions to ask yourself whenever you are in transition: 1) what is it time to let go of in my own life right now? – finding out what it is time to let go of often provides the way to initiate a transition meaningfully, 2) what is standing backstage, in the wings of my life, waiting to make an entrance?

    This was an important book to my work transition in the RCMP and eventual life transition when I left the RCMP. For those that are working through their personal healing this book may bring clarity to what is important in your life journey.

    Source: Bridges, W. (2004). Transitions making sense of life’s changes (2nd ed.)

  6. William Bromilow (Retired OPP officer)

    Yesterday was a very hard day. It brought back all the emotions and stress of the morning of 911.

    I’m retired now, but all the adrenalin pumped through me, wanting to be there at work and help and not being able to do anything to help the officers and First Responders in Boston.

    Just like 911, we were here doing the emergency preparedness here, while watching our TVs helplessly, instead of our trained instinct to run to the fight and assist.

    If you were a First Responder when 911 happened and fell like this today. Feel free to comment. You are not alone.

  7. I am a Solicitor who works representing Police Officers who find themselves before disciplinary tribunals and/or Criminal Courts as a result of misconduct. Many of these are as a result of PTSD or other forms of disabilities.

    I commend all of the police officers who face the ugliness of this world on a daily basis, and deal with the torment that is associated with such, so that we do not have to. I further commend organizations such as Badge of Life for reaching out and providing support to them. You truly are heroes.

    Let’s all continue to work towards providing a policing culture where it is acceptable to ask for and seek treatment. All of us share the responsibility to not only recognize, but also accommodate disability.

    • We’ve probably crossed paths on a few of these cases together if you are from the Toronto area. I know many legal counsel from the Toronto area representing officers who have found themselves before tribunals/courts. In a lot of cases the contributing factor was the behaviours associatied with PTSD.

  8. Hello Andy and Peter and everyone else.

    I finally made it to site after a few months. I am a retired (short career) police officer and one that suffered from PTSD. I am now teaching college students to become future police officers in Ontario.

    I look forward to keep in touch and sharing ideas. A big thank you Peter for getting me here.

    D.M Toronto, Ont

  9. I’m searching to know what is life after PTSD, can we live without set a back, I was not diagnosed for over 20 years, I was sent to a detox, not a treatment centre, because of my self medication with alcohol, I’m back to work and now face the stigma from the organization,

    • A good question, Luc. I’m not completely understanding your circumstance, but can assure you that substance abuse is often what they call a “maladaptive coping technique” to deal with trauma and the symptoms of PTSD. I’m glad you were finally diagnosed properly, though stigma is common and borne of ignorance.

      Can we live without a setback? Life gives us no guarantees, particularly with PTSD, which is an injury to the brain that results in both emotional and physical changes–often permanent. The amount of time and the symptomology since the trauma can play a role in the likelihood of a recurrence. If you are feeling concern for yourself or any symptoms at all, and if the stigmatization is bothering you, you absolutely should visit a therapist a few times and talk things over.

      You’re not alone–all of us who have survived PTSD this far share the same worries. Be kind to yourself, and don’t be afraid to find someone to talk with!

  10. We want to express our admiration and support for the work you are doing for veterans and first responders. Your efforts are doing much to spread the message of hope and healing. Both Inspector Kruger and Robert Goodman must be admired for their courage in stepping forward and offering themselves as examples of the struggles so many of us face–and can endure. Continue on with your inspired work!

    Andy O’Hara, Badge of Life

  11. FD (OIF Veteran and First Responder)

    Listen I have been searching for months on finding info about service dogs. I have served 1 tour in Iraq and was medivaced out. I am service connected for PTSD and other things. I found the perfect dog to be my service dog and she is a pup and I am going to do the training myself with the help of some wonderful people I have met. I am from Ohio and Service dogs for veterans is a new thing and the VA has yet to start helping with paying for the training. I have started training my dog even though it is the 1st steps to many I have really enjoyed the 1st steps.
    When I got back and to this day I have not done the things I used to enjoy before I went over but with the training have something to do again. It is funny even as young as she is I had training last night with her and on the way home I started to get aggressive while I was driving and I think she sensed that and place her head on my leg as to say slow down and it was weird I started to feel better. Now the training I want to do is going to take longer due to money and the VA not paying but it will get done.
    Service dogs for Veterans is going to be a great thing for us and you are going to see a lot more of us doing it to survive everyday life.
    F.D. USA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s