Conversations that matter

Conversations that matter

Conversations that matter

We recently had a visit from Invictus Games athlete Darrell Ling. Darrell brought a yellow bench that he built out of completely recycled wood, which we are proud to have sitting by our front door. The Invictus Games introduced “The Yellow Bench” as a way of creating shared spaces for people – even strangers – to have conversations that matter. 

Athletes were invited to bring the concept of The Yellow Bench back home to their respective countries and communities.

In the Invictus Games, each athlete competes in 2 individual sports and a team sport. Darrell brought his competitive spirit to Archery, Sit-down Rowing, and Wheelchair Basketball where he successfully scored a basket in the final minutes of the game. 

Darrell shared that one of the most meaningful aspects of the Invictus Games was the opportunity to meet other athletes who understood his experiences, without needing an explanation. He described the implicit understanding amongst the Athletes of what it took to get there; something that doesn’t always exist in the civilian world. Darrell also noted with pride that the person in last place got the loudest cheers, something that warmed his heart.  Competing and finishing an event requires a tremendous amount of preparation, training, determination and courage. Not all accomplishments are marked with a medal, but this certainly doesn’t detract from the success. 

He was also thrilled to meet Prince Harry in person. 

We invite you to take seat and connect the next time you visit us. 

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Shouldering things together

Shouldering things together

Shouldering things together

Just because a problem has been around for a long time doesn’t mean it’s there to stay.There is something intimidating about an issue that we’ve been carrying for a long time. It can almost take on its own life. In my experience, the longevity of a problem does not indicate the difficulty it will take to sort it out.It is often a matter of looking more deeply, or through a different lens. This emphasizes the importance of not carrying things alone. By talking things out loud, and being open to new perspectives, it opens the door for change to occur. Positive shifts happen.If you have been carrying around a weight for a long time and aren’t sure how to get rid of it or lighten your load, we hope you’ll consider giving us a call.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Preparing for the aftermath in Nova Scotia: how we can help

Preparing for the aftermath in Nova Scotia: how we can help

Preparing for the aftermath in Nova Scotia: how we can help

In times like this, it’s easy to feel powerless, wishing that we could do more. We are incredibly grateful to our first responders who have been working tirelessly over the past week to contain wildfires across the province.Being a small province, we feel the impact strongly when family, friends, or people in our community are facing undue hardship.For those who have been trained in first responder roles but are unable to work due to injury, the draw to active service can be particularly powerful.It’s important to remember that there are many lines to fighting a fire. There are those on the front, and there are multiple levels of invaluable and necessary supports who stand behind them.What each of us does makes a difference.

  • Family members of those who are on the front line are making sacrifices and staying supportive while those they love move toward danger.
  • Community members are opening their homes, readying beds and preparing meals for those who need them.
  • Businesses are contributing through food donations and free services
  • Many people are reaching out through text and using social media proactively to check on those they care about, offering support and letting them know they’re not alone
  • Farmers and friends are taking in livestock and pets, ensuring their safety. We heard of a local farmer who took in 200 horses that needed to be evacuated.
  • For the most part, people are using common sense, keeping out of wooded areas and following evaluation orders and safety restrictions as required.

Perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do, is to ensure that we are taking the time to have an open ear and heart for those who have been affected, understanding the varying emotions they will experience through this process.  As always, we stand behind those who serve their communities. We recognize that there are very real injuries that arise from such selfless service. As an organization, our mandate is preparing for the aftermath of such significant events. If you’d like to support first responders in accessing the mental health care that they need and deserve, please follow this link to donate.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

A community that rocks!

A community that rocks!

A community that rocks!

Each month, members of our community gather for a group program, designed to support ongoing health. This is an opportunity to check in on a regular basis with how we are doing, offer support when needed, and celebrate each other’s growth. Something has struck me in recent months. As members work to find new avenues of creative self-expression, even with no artistic backgrounds, beautiful things emerge, not just with the art, but also in the relationships we have with one another. In this month’s Maintaining Health, among other things, we discovered the hidden joy of rock wrapping. It never really matters what activity we are doing, I always seem to leave these sessions feeling connected, relaxed, happy and refreshed.This program is available for anyone who has successfully completed any one of our full Landing Strong programs. Mark the summer dates on your calendar and let us know if you to come: June 15th, July 13th, August 17th.Our Friday Healthy Living program also spends the afternoons at Makers Studio. It’s an upbeat program designed to look at what’s really important in our lives and how to bring more of that in. Give us a call.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

A good news story to brighten your day

A good news story to brighten your day

A good news story to brighten your day

Every year, MADD Canada recognizes police officers who are going above and beyond to keep our roads safe. 

This year marked the launch of MADD Canada’s Constable Heidi Stevenson’s Watch Award Ceremony, held at the RCMP headquarters in Dartmouth. This new awards program was introduced to recognize officers who remove the most impaired drivers from the roads. The Top Performer for 2022 was Constable Scott Aldridge, RCMP. The 2022 Gold Awards were presented to officers who removed 24 or more impaired drivers. We’re proud to acknowledge Constable Kristopher Hansen from the Halifax Regional Police as one of the 5 Gold Award recipients. This is the second time Kris has been recognized by MADD. In 2019, he received an award for being the Top Performer in the Province for the year 2018.

This award ceremony serves as a lovely acknowledgement of the significant impact Heidi Stevenson had in the province, as well as recognizing those who walk in her footsteps as part of her legacy. Heidi was Kris’ instructor for Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Impaired Detection, and Drug Recognition Expert. Kris in turn taught the Impaired Driving Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing courses to 5 of the 7 Bronze Award recipients. 

Landing Strong applauds the effort of all the recipients of this most prestigious award. 

This level of commitment, tenacity, and courage helps make our province one of the best places to live. 

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Striving to be more

Striving to be more

Striving to be more

It’s easy to define ourselves in terms of our work.

Pushing hard, staying within a single lane, the temptation is strong to lose sight of the rich scenery and possibilities around us.

Last night my husband Joe came home beaming. He’d had a great night of hockey, stating that it may have been “his best game ever”. The night before that, he spoke excitedly about having had a great evening of tennis. Tonight he has a bit part as an Oompa Loompa in The KES Junior school’s rendition of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Joe seems to have mastered the talent of being many things. I’ve always been grateful that, come a zombie apocalypse, he’s on my team. At some deep level, he’s understood the importance of staying engaged in many diverse aspects of life, not simply driving in a single lane.

Getting and staying healthy is about diversifying our investments, not putting all of our eggs in one basket. I’m particularly aware of that as I approach the latter half of my life. Over the past year I’ve worked hard to deepen my interests, explore new hobbies, and challenge myself to discover things that might intimidate me. At the end of my life, I doubt I’ll be asking myself if I worked enough. Rather, I expect I’ll look to relationships, hoping I have been authentic, honest and trustworthy. Both inside and outside of my work, I never want to stop striving to be more.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong