A Police Officer was buried today…

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A Police Officer was buried today…
And a piece of our country she swore to protect goes with her
The Canada flag flies at half-mast again today
Her name will be added to a memorial wall
While a young, widower must work to raise their children alone
And spend many long, lonely nights.
Those who worked and loved her will carry a heavy burden
As they struggle to make themselves whole once more
Yes, A Police Officer was buried today…
Maybe it was in your city or not,
She put her life on the line
It happened while we slept in comfort
She answered the call . . . of herself she gave her all,
And because of this a part of Canada has died as well…
Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

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Two years after graduating the sergeant came knocking on my door…..

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He did not sign up for this. He signed up for making a difference in the world. He signed up because of his deep rooted patriotism and desire to serve and protect his community and his country. When he graduated, his trainer said that he had never even drawn his gun. He’d certainly never been drawn down on! I was told we never speak of accidents or shootings. It was as though I would jinx the whole thing. I was told I didn’t need to know, because it would never happen.
Two years after graduating the sergeant came knocking on my door. By the grace of God my husband was alive but I was not prepared. I was so shocked and caught off guard.
This will be our ninth regimental funeral. Nope, we did not sign up for this.
When he was diagnosed with PTSD 18 years ago, we had no clue what that meant. Now I do. I know that going to this funeral will trigger him and we will spend the next three weeks getting him back on track. We already have an appointment made with the therapist. But this is what we do to honour those who fall. The esprit de corps and camaraderie that will fill the streets on Tuesday will remain with us and keep us going.
I’m so grateful to the people who’ve reached out to us to ask if we’re ok. We don’t have to justify our grief to them. They don’t ask us if we knew Cst. Beckett. They know it’s irrelevant. They’re all brothers and sisters and they all mourn each other equally. Hopefully this will be the last regimental funeral we will ever have to attend.

From a member of our admin team here at Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

The Stigma of Suicide is Alive and Strong!

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When I started my advocacy journey, over 3 years ago, I was a naive spouse driven by pain and the need to bring PTSD out from the darkness. My hope was to save families from some of the pain mine had gone through by having an awareness and knowledge of mental health.
I was not aware police officers were dying by suicide, but soon became aware, from the few brave and courageous spouses and families who stepped forward to break the silence.
These families have deeply touched my soul and I will bring a part of them with me through life. I have shed many tears reading their emails and talking to them. I have heard their pain and felt honoured to have had their trust, so I could share their families’ experiences with the world. I hold them all very dearly. I see them as beacons of bravery and courage.
What I wasn’t prepared for was those who are adamant about keeping suicides and/or PTSD under the rug and quiet. I have been subjected to relentless, mean, rude and hateful Facebook messages and emails about our decision to share and acknowledge suicides. Some have gone as far as saying I am responsible for the deaths of members by popularizing suicides. Others have said I am disrespecting families and the policing profession. Some spouses have hunted down my personal Facebook page and sent me nasty messages saying that I am every police spouse’s worst nightmare, threatening to start a campaign against me if I don’t stop. One told me my soul is going to burn in hell.
This isn’t just limited to suicides, some are furious to have images of RCMP members and PTSD put together. One RCMP member incessantly contacts me every time I use the picture, with different quotes on it, of the RCMP member slumped over his cruiser door during the Moncton tragedy, depicting the true emotions of a police officer reacting to a very traumatic event he witnessed. She states she is a good friend of this member, he doesn’t have PTSD and I have no right to use it in reference to PTSD in anyway. She says I am humiliating him and demands I take it down.
I have had to take my personal information off the website as I have had people contact me saying they have my name and are going to track me down.
I have had senior police members from different police departments contact me and demand I remove posts.
I have not and I will not.
I am very careful not to make references to what led to their suicide other than when families have shared with me the details of their struggles. I don’t even use the word suicide in the post, just “We lost another” and what was made public.
Almost all of the posts I make about losing a police officer are because someone close to them contacts me and requests for me to do so. They feel a deep need to have them publicly honoured and acknowledged.
I feel deeply that to stay quiet about suicide, to continue to treat it as taboo or a sin, is telling those who are struggling with what is going on within them is also wrong. If we don’t open up the dialogue, and be honest, we are telling people “you need to keep your struggles hidden”. We can stop the need to post about members who went to such a dark place, the only viable option they see is to take their own life, but that takes a determination by the leaders to put in place training at all levels, from recruit to retiree, addressing how PTSD is real, can be mitigated and must be in the open to deny it power.
There are many positive messages as well, but the mean ones sting, make some of my days long and sleep does not come easily at night. I received this one positive message just last night, when I was particularly low. These are what I try my best to hold in my heart and allow them to lift me back up.

“Terry
I ran across this page while reading about the Moose Jaw Member that presumably took their own life.

I was not in the RCMP, I was with Regina Police Service from 1979 to 1990. It took me over 15 years to realize I was dealing with PTSD and it was this year that I finally began to manage it with some level of success.

I can’t thank you enough for what you are doing here. Back in my time, no one even heard of PTSD. Three of my brother officers, two of them my fellow SWAT team members took their lives during my years of service. Others have since of course and it’s all preventible and more manageable. Thank you for speaking out, standing up, and organizing. You are saving lives.

Thank you

Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
Hi Terry, You have no idea how much your kind supportive words mean. Thank you so much Sir for them and your service. Lori

Terry
You are very welcome. You’ve been given a calling. An important one. Every bit as great a calling as the one given to those now needing your help. Fight the fight. Take care.”

Thank you for each and everyone of you have take time to support us and families who are hurting with a few kind words and to do what you can to bring change forward.
We will move forward because those that need us to are worth the pain brought on by the few who are scared and ignorant.
What we witness when we are honest about these tragedies is an opening of dialogue, people sharing, reaching out and connecting. Breaking the isolation that leads people down the dark path of PTSD. This openness builds a community of support and understanding, quite the opposite of what these naysayers are depicting.
There is so much work to be done around mental health and none of it can truly happen until we are honest and stop perpetuating the stigma by keeping quiet about the things we don’t want to, or are afraid to, look at.

Lori
Founder of Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

RIP Const. Jean-Pascal Nolin

We write this note with a very heavy heart, we have lost another RCMP member, Const. Jean-Pascal Nolin, a 10-year veteran of the force, reportedly parked his cruiser at the Metcalfe Street side entrance to the Thomas D’Arcy McGee building, between Sparks and Queen streets, then walked in to the offices of the force’s A Division Parliament Hill detachment, located in the building, and shot himself. He leaves behind a spouse and two young children.
Our hearts go out to Const. Jean-Pascal Nolin family and all those who knew, worked with and loved him, all of whom are struggling to deal with the aftermath of suicide.
Please know that we at Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness are devastated and we are working tirelessly to do all we can to stop these tragedies from occurring.
We send a plea to each and every one of you to reach out to those who are retired or those you know are struggling with PTSD, to both the members and their families, and let them know they are not alone, that you care, we care and we are all are here for each other.
RIP Const. – You and your contribution to Canada and society will not be forgotten.
Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

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March 6th, 1986 will never be forgotten in my mind and in the mind of many others RIP S/Cst. Rob Thomas

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March 6th, 1986 will never be forgotten in my mind and in the mind of many others. It was on that day, that S/Cst. Rob Thomas and Cst. Reg Gulliford, were needlessly gunned down in Powerview, Manitoba. S/Cst. Rob Thomas was fatally shot through the back and was killed instantly on that night shift in March. Rob’s son, to be born in the near future, would never meet his Dad. He has grown to be a find young man.

On that night, Reg and Rob had stopped to see if a motorist at a closed service station was in need of assistance. They were just trying to be helpful in small town Canada. Rob got out of the passenger side of the police truck and was walking toward the stopped car. Suddenly the driver’s door swung open and a rifle came out. Rob turned to get back to the police truck and as his hand touched the door, a shot rang out. Reg watched in horror as Rob’s eyes rolled back and Rob was dead before he hit the ground. I will never forget how upset Reg was as he related this story to me at his bedside of ICU in the St. Boniface hospital in Winnipeg. The feeling of helplessness, guilt and second guessing is hard to put behind you when you are looking into your young partners eyes as he passes away. Watch your policing partner die. It is absolutely horrible. Nobody ever gets over that image. Every RCMP Member who was at that Detachment was permanently scarred by this tragic event.

Reg jumped out of the driver’s side for cover and drew his service revolver. Rifle shots rang out and Reg returned fire. Reg was shot and hit the ground. The shooter walked toward the police vehicle to finish him off with a couple more shots. Then the shooter got back in his car and left. Reg was left bleeding to death in the parking lot.

Through the quick and heroic efforts of local citizens and the first responders, Reg was evacuated to emergency medical care. His injuries were so severe he literally died and was brought back to life. His loyal wife, a nurse at the receiving hospital held his hand all the way to the trauma unit.

After many months and many surgeries later Reg was lucky to survive. He would never recover completely and nor would his family, friends and colleagues. Reg worked hard to get back to work, but would never see another day, back in the patrol car. He managed the severe injuries to his body and never regained full use of his leg.

Throughout this medical miracle, Reg endured endless X-Rays to assist is in his recovery. He passed away over 20 years later while still an active RCMP Member. He managed his injuries and adapted to his physical and mental changes. He eventually battled a rare form of cancer that was related to radiation exposure. This exposure was from the endless X-rays to help him recover. I cried as I stood by his graveside on that cold January in our home town. Memories of March 6, 1986 still fresh in my memory. His death was directly related to that fateful night on March 6, 1986.

Reg and I would chat in his hospital room about our teenaged years, our days in university, our families, teenaged hockey adventures and our work days in the bush. Reg would lift the dressings on his belly to show me the cellophane covered window to his intestines. They had to keep him open to clean out infection and lead bullet fragments , as they were located during medical procedures. Reg was as tough as nails and as gentle as a lamb. A big strong guy with massive hands, but still his Mudder’s boy. My heart ached but my face could never show the pain to a man who was bravely enduring so much. Rob was a kind and considerate young man who was looking forward to a bright future and growing his family.

I attended Rob Thomas’s, regimental funeral at the First Nations community of Peguis, Manitoba on a cold March day. Tears were frozen on the faces of the toughest of police officers. Such a senseless loss of life and a terrible tragedy for the families involved. These police offices were just looking to help someone out on a cold March nite. But, as the saying goes, no good deed should go unpunished. In the spirit of his aboriginal upbringing, Rob’s father lead the community and spiritual healing.

Please remember Rob and Reg for the their choices to serve their community and country. Rest in peace good men, as your children and grandchildren are good people and your spouses continue to honour your memory. There and many others who will forever remember your sacrifice.

Please remember all those who had their lives turned upside down on that cold March night the hamlet of Powerview, Manitoba. Remember that theses police officers were just trying to be helpful in a quiet small town. Remember the ultimate sacrifice they made.

Rest in peace Rob and Reg. Your memories and our respect for your ultimate sacrifice will live forever in all who knew you two brave police officers. God bless you.

Blue lives matter, all lives matter. That is why Rob and Reg were out there on that cold March night.

Steve Walker

We are Thankful for you!

Thanksgiving weekend is the start of the holiday season. It is a time fraught with family get-togethers, and significant dates that are often triggers and stressful times. For some, the thought of having to go “home” is frightening. Hearing an instance we must come “home” for the holidays can make some feel under intense pressure to fake happiness and satisfaction with life, when in reality, they are barely holding it together due to their PTSD. Remembrance Day, is just around the corner. The election on October 19th brings about a lot of media coverage regarding hot button issues with our veterans. Christmas is not far away, and with that January’s bills and financial stress. Increased alcohol consumption is often associated with these holidays and accepted as the norm. A natural tendency and reaction might be to isolate yourselves and avoid these things, but it may not be in your best interest. It is a crucial time of year for us all to really pay attention to our communication and connection to our loved ones. Please know that “You Are Not Alone” at this time, as many families are struggling with this. Please also remember this is the time when caregivers, need to be vigilant about your self-care.

For those who will be working this holiday stay safe out there.

I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving

Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

We are Thankful for you

PTSD/OSI display for RCMP National Memorial Service, Sept 13th

For the first time there will be a PTSD/OSI display for RCMP National Memorial Service, Sunday, September 13 “Depot” Division, in Regina.
100 PTSD challenge coins that will be given away during the day.
The ceremony begins with a parade at 8:45 a.m. and is followed by a chapel service at 10 a.m. and a short ceremony at the Memorial Wall in the RCMP cemetery.
The RCMP Memorial Service is an annual event and an enduring tradition that started in the mid-1930s when RCMP members came to Sleigh Square to honour their fallen comrades.
The public and media are welcome to attend.

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