How many psychologists can you fit into an ambulance?
A few weeks ago, Dr. Petra Woehrle and I joined a group of Psychologists for an experiential training regarding cultural considerations in working with Crown Attorneys and Paramedics.
We listened to personal stories, attended Court, and hopped into an ambulance for some high-speed drills. It was an incredible day but most of all, I was affected by the following information:
• The average career span of a paramedic used to be 5-7 years. Recently it’s been reduced to 3-5. • The Crown Attorney’s office has lost 20% of its Prosecutors in recent years; a few to retirement, but many have found the conditions of the work too onerous to continue. • 20% of Nova Scotia Paramedics are currently on leave. • 25% of Halifax Regional Police are currently on leave.
This day served to renew my commitment to ensuring supports are there for those who need them.
We are grateful indeed for your service,
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych. Executive Director, Landing Strong
This week, I devoted time to sort through stuff in my basement with the intention of clearing out junk that has accumulated over the years. I found a box filled with all of my report cards from elementary school to the end of high school, as well as some journals, creative writing assignments, and art books. I’ve always believed that life is about constant change, striving to be a better person, growing, adapting and taking on new challenges. Looking back at my younger self, I’m not so sure that I’ve actually changed. There’s a consistency to who I’ve always been that’s reflected through the art, writing, and report cards of my younger self.
Striving for personal growth, fighting for social justice, practicing the voice of leadership, and expressing my thoughts through writing and art are themes that have been consistent through my entire life.
Even in grade five, my stories were about trauma and redemption. I wrote about hardship, regrouping, and finding the strength to get life back on track. In all of these stories, people had to trust in themselves and others in order to move forward.
There are many days in my adult life where I question myself, and wonder if I have what it takes. Looking back, I realize I’m on the right path. Some days, I’ll do it well. Some days… not so much.
Despite how much I think I’ve changed, maybe underneath it all we’re not that much different from who we’ve always been. The gifts we’re born with that make us unique, are there from the beginning. It’s a matter of how much we honour and develop them that determines whether or not we’re on the right path.
If you’re injured or finding yourself off-track, it’s likely not because you’re a different person now, but rather, that you haven’t yet figured out how to continue being the person you’ve always been.
We’re not just a trauma recovery centre. We’re also a centre for resiliency and personal growth, for both those who have been injured as well as those who love and support them.
If you’re interested, we still have space in our next caregiver program. Honour who you’ve always been, but learn to take care of yourself in the process.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych. Executive Director, Landing Strong
I committed to ensuring my work is filled with creativity and joy. Today marks a special part of that with the launch of our first veteran/first responder day treatment program. The program is full, and Mackenzie has been madly cooking chilli and baking wonderful treats to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and well cared for. We’ve run two caregiver workshops now, and are thrilledby the response. It’s such an incredible feeling knowing that a group of people who come together as strangers can so quickly form meaningful connections as they discover the strength of shared experience.
As Doug and I led the Caregiver workshops, we were struck by what an incredibly powerful and resilient group of people they were. In addition to their caregiver roles, all lead very rich and full lives in their home communities. They wear regular clothing, but in our eyes, looked very much like superheroes.
By the time you read this, the important work we set out to do today will have begun. I salute the courage it takes to come forward and register for a program. I commit to do everything in my power to ensure the experience is both positive and welcoming. It is such an honour to be able to walk on this journey with such a special community.
Wishing you all the best for a warm weekend.
Regards from the entire Landing Strong Team,
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych. Founder, Landing Strong
As we gear up for the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up with the demands of the season. For many, the extra load can feel somewhat overwhelming. With this in mind, we have created something special for you: 8 Holiday hacks to keep your recovery on track. In this special booklet, we offer tips and strategies for staying sane in a time of increased demand. We’ll also be sending mini versions of these strategies to you through social media channels over the next few weeks.
Want to start the New Year off right? We have some exciting new programs launching in January that we invite you to join. It’s important to call soon so that we can arrange insurance coverage for you to attend.
Care for the Caregiver Part 1: Supporting and Thriving
Learn Strategies to be a stronger, more resilient support for someone you care about who has PTSD or other Operational Stress Injuries
An encore presentation for those who could not get into the first round.
Monday January 7, 2019 10-3 pm
Care for the Caregiver Series Part 2: Effective communication skills
Learn strategies to reconnect in a meaningful way
Friday January 18, 2019 10-3 pm
New Year New You Part 1
This year, set yourself up for success. Regroup, recalibrate and reclaim your life.
A program for military members, veterans and first responders.
Friday January 11, 2019 10-3 pm
Reconnect with yourself
Discover your true potential
Group sizes are limited, book now to avoid disappointment. Call (902) 472-2972 for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was a cold and windy day as ten brave souls made their way to the first in the series of caregiver workshops. No doubt anxious about coming to a new place a meeting new people, the group quickly formed bonds that transcended differences that existed between them.
What struck me the most was the strength and resiliency exhibited by each individual. We never know what life’s going to throw our way, but ultimately it’s our ability to get back up after we’re knocked down that defines us. I had the honour of witnessing courage, strength, unconditional support, and compassion among the members of the group. This workshop is just the first of many. Keep an eye on your inbox and our social media pages to see what exciting things are in store.
As promised, we have sent our Caregiver PDF to your inbox. Next week, we will be forwarding you additional resources to help you get through the holidays in a safe and healthy manner.
Due to the overwhelming response for Care for the Caregiver Workshop: Supporting & Thriving, we are offering it again on January 7th for those who didn’t make it in the first time around. Contact us to register today.
A special program New Year, New You designed for Military Members, Veterans and First Responders, will be offered on January 11th. Set yourself up for success in 2019. Feel free to call us for more information.
On Saturday night, my husband Joe and I had the pleasure of attending the Festival of Trees in Halifax. This black-tie event is a gala fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. Each year, a forest of stunning trees is admired and auctioned off.
Joe and I have a tradition of bidding on the tree that is beautiful but isn’t being noticed. It often sits there quietly, waiting to be claimed, but for some reason is overlooked. Over the years, we have amassed quite a forest. With the opening of Landing Strong, I thought it would be nice to take one of our trees to the new centre. When I brought this up to Joe, I could see evidence of the love in his heart for all of our trees. Parting with any one of them would not be possible. The only option was to find another evergreen in need of a home.
We were successful. When I saw the tree, I immediately knew it belonged in our office and would find a home with us.
Along with the tree, we hope that many people might take root in our community. Like the enchanted forest, we will create something magical.
In the spirit of new growth, we would like to tell you about what’s in store for you over the next few months:
Today marks the launch of our program, “Care for the Caregiver”. This is the first in a series of day-long workshops. Don’t worry if you missed the first one, each is offered as a stand-alone.
In the month of December, keep an eye on your inbox for useful tips around managing the holidays in a healthy and low-stress manner.
Early in the new year we will be unrolling a menu of programs designed to support you on your journey of health and recovery.Connect with us onsocial media for news on these exciting initiatives.
Ps. Special thanks to Compass Group Canada for including us in this special evening.