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Date Posted
January 24, 2020

Frontline Family Wellness Day poster with all the partner logos

On Sunday, February 9, frontline responders from around Grey County are invited to attend Frontline Family Wellness Day in Owen Sound. This two-part event is for first responders, those serving in the military, veterans, healthcare professionals exposed to traumatic stress and family members of these frontline workers. A wellness symposium will be held in the afternoon and a special documentary screen will be shown at Galaxy Cinemas in the evening. This is a fee event, but registration is required at frontline-family-wellness.eventbrite.ca.

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“First responders and other frontline professionals dedicate their careers to the safety and wellbeing of others. In this line of duty, they’re exposed to stressful and traumatic experiences that impact their own mental health,” said Paul McQueen, Grey County Warden. “Frontline Family Wellness Day is a collaborative effort to come together and learn about mental health and the resources available to those on the frontline, and their families.”

The day will begin with a wellness symposium from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Attendees will learn about the mental health continuum, resources for care, family peer support and more. The symposium will include a keynote address by Kendra Fisher. Fisher was a member of Team Canada’s women’s national hockey program before she was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Now, Kendra shares her personal journey to put a spotlight on mental health issues and help others. Kendra is also a first responder herself, working as a firefighter.

Frontline Family Wellness Day centres around frontline professionals, but the event is family-focused.

“Families play an important supporting role in the lives of responders and they’re often the first people to notice when mental wellbeing begins to fail,” said Kevin McNab, Grey County’s director of paramedic services. “Our goal with Frontline Family Wellness Day is to help families recognize the signs and symptoms of traumatic stress and give them the tools and knowledge to know how and when to respond.”

To make the event more accessible to families, programing will be offered to elementary school-aged children during the symposium. Registrants can note if they will be bringing children on the registration questionnaire.

The second part of Frontline Family Wellness Day is the special screening of the 2017 documentary The Other Side of the Hero at Galaxy Cinemas at 7:30 p.m. Produced by and starring actor Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint), The Other Side of the Hero  takes an in-depth look at first responders dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues in their life out of uniform. The documentary trailer can be found on the event registration page frontline-family-wellness.eventbrite.ca.

Attendees may register for either or both Frontline Family Wellness Day events. Space is limited.

Frontline Family Wellness Day is a collaborative event hosted by emergency services from across Grey County and the Operational Stress Injury Social Support Program through the Department of National Defense.

For more information contact communications@grey.ca or call 519-372-0219 ext.1235.

Quotes

“The impact of traumatic stress goes beyond the frontline responder. It touches family members and the people closest to them. It’s important for responders and their families to all understand the symptoms of traumatic stress so they can talk openly and manage it together.” - Doug Barfoot, Fire Chief, Owen Sound Fire & Emergency Services

“For far too long there was an expectation that police and other first responders had to hide their feelings and that was part of the job. For those who couldn’t or didn’t and needed help, there was a perception they weren’t cut out for the job. That attitude had to change and thankfully is changing. The reality is first responders aren’t immune to what they experience. They need to look after their own mental health so they are able to help others.” – Craig Ambrose, Chief, Owen Sound Police Services

“The Operational Stress Injury Social Support program is proud to partner with our Grey County brothers and sisters in uniform for the Frontline Family Wellness event. We hope this collaborative partnership will let our community first responders, military members and families recognize that they are not alone in their journeys and experiences. It doesn’t matter the uniform. We are here to support each other.” Laryssa Lamrock, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services

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For media inquiries contact Rob Hatten, communications manager, at rob.hatten@grey.ca or call 519-372-0219 ext.1235 or 519-373-1592.

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