Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey


November 17, 2015

Peer Support Focus Group Invitation

Hello All!

I’m looking for some very important people to comprise an anonymous focus group for the review of the Peer Support Group model I, with the support of the Canadian Mental Health Association have created.
As I have briefly mentioned in the past at my event and on social media, a model for a solution-based, community support and discussion group for first responders, military members, communications officers, and healthcare providers who are, or have had, difficulty coping with the traumatic calls/events often experienced in their daily work environment has been successfully developed.
While an employer may be providing this group’s information as a resource they sanction, they are not directly affiliated with this group, nor are any professional therapists of any kind. This informal group is anonymous, and only facilitated by peers experiencing similar struggles with traumatic calls/events, and does not require the diagnosis of a mental illness such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to attend.
Each meeting (frequency to be determined by focus group) will provide a safe environment to interact and discuss the maintenance and improvement of mental health with relation to these essential professions. The extent of an individual’s participation in each group is entirely up to them. Professional assessment and care is not provided in this group, but is always advised. It is my personal experience that whether an individual chooses to attend these types of groups to simply listen and learn, or interact with peers, that they can obtain the understanding, support, and respect necessary to heal from trauma, thus improving career longevity as well as overall health.
Relevant and current evidence-based research is being used to establish a foundation for the group, and it is probable that an evaluation strategy will be incorporated into this program.
I have been invited to Calgary to present this model to first responder services in the early new year, so it is my goal to have the focus group feedback collected within the next few weeks.
Focus group members will participate in feedback with regards to all aspects of the group. I certainly appreciate the offer of anyone’s valuable time to participate, but for optimal feedback results I am asking that only those who are having, or have had, difficulty coping with traumatic calls/events in their daily work environment apply.
Five members have already been selected (3 paramedics from various services, 1 RN, and 1 police officer) and I am hoping to have fire fighters, communications officers, military members, and other healthcare providers as part of the focus group as well.
Please reply to me via personal message if you are interested in obtaining more information about the group model, and/or are interested in applying for a focus group position.
Thank you for your support and encouragement! Stay tuned for more information ❤️ My email address is:
Mission: Through non-stigmatized fellowship and education, our mission is to encourage a new outlook where the need to be comfortable with uncomfortable, no longer exists.

Tough Love?


I have been told by many people over the past year that I love to talk about love, and I suppose they are right. Unearthing the true meaning and sentiment of love after living a life where self-pity obscured its existence, is like finding a sparkling jewel in the darkness that you though had no prospect of possessing anything beneficial at all. Once you find such a precious jewel, you make a necklace out of it and keep it as close to your heart as possible. You look at it often and hold it tight in your hands to ensure that finding it wasn’t a dream. And you can’t help but show it to everyone you meet! ‘Look at how magnificent this precious jewel is!’, you say as people walk by, hopeful that sharing a glimpse of it would prove to them that they could find the same.

No wonder I am so fascinated by my discovery of the true meaning of love (to wish someone happiness and wellness without limitations or conditions) when it seems that its meaning is so distorted in our world these days. Love doesn’t hurt, even if the band Nazareth says so. Dating myself? Possibly…Be quiet 😉 It doesn’t need anyone or anything else to complete it, even if Jerry Maguire says so. Furthermore, love is never bitter, it is only ever sweet, even if Kanye says so! Have I regained some of my youth now? In short, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that love has a negative connotation with the way we refer to it in our society today.

Us humans engage in actions that will inevitably lead to suffering because so many of our societal beliefs gain power without any true independent analysis. When did Taylor Swift’s views on love’s inevitable transformation to pain become the only data required to prove that when we feel pain it must mean that love is part of the equation somewhere. Love is never part of a painful equation. Pain that comes from the heart is more likely to come from attachment. But don’t take my word for it…turn of Taylor’s catchy tune for a bit and mindfully reflect on the difference between love and attachment, and how we often interchange them senselessly.

Our delusions continue when we learn to only equate love with our own happiness, and have no idea how to practice anything outside of ourselves. How can we expect to reap lasting bountiful emotions when we put so much pressure on someone else to ‘complete us’? This assumption alone weaves a level of selfishness and self-grasping into our minds that has nothing to do with love at all. If we truly possessed the wish for everyone to be happy and well, we would never attach ourselves to them; it simply wouldn’t be necessary. Furthermore, we would be happy with ourselves, and see clearly how attachment can only lead to jealousy, envy and anger. And how jealousy, envy and anger are what actually lead to pain.

In order to find the transformative jewel of love, we must deliberately take a stand to reverse negative tendencies of attachment, and exchange them with new positive, self-less habits. Luckily, the more we explore a topic, regardless of how difficult it may be, the more we come to understand it. And I certainly can’t think of a better topic to explore than the topic of love. ❤



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