Upcoming Events

Due to Covid-19 concerns the 5th Annual Conference will now be held on October 6th, 2020. We wish to greatly thank all First Responders for their tireless efforts during this unprecedented time!

The Fifth Annual Invisible Wounds Conference for First Responders

October 6th, 2020                 09:00 to 16:30

Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre

601 Scottsdale Drive, Guelph, ON, N1G 3E7

Tickets $90  Eventbrite: https://firstrespondersconferencemay2020.eventbrite.ca

Includes registration fee, coffee on arrival, 2 breaks & lunch

  • This conference is exclusively for First Responders and Clinicians providing direct services to our First Responders

  • Keynote speakers share expertise, lived-experience, exemplify resiliency, illustrate post-traumatic growth, & provide hope

  • We bring First Responders together from across the province, facilitating education, networking and Peer Support

  • You’ll participate in breakout groups to identify risk mitigating strategies to promote and sustain mental wellness

Our Master of Ceremonies

Steven Goode, Deputy Chief - Guelph Fire Department


Introducing our Keynote Speakers

Dr. Sandra Jackson, Ph.D., C. Psych            

“Building Your Mental Fitness Plan”

This presentation encourages a proactive approach towards building your mental health.  Like physical health, we often make the most gains and change when we are in a good place. The goal of this presentation is to challenge the idea that mental health is only for the mentally ill. Mental health is a process and it often involves engaging with yourself, others and the world in a way that builds resilient skills, attitudes and practices.

Scott Hewlett, Brampton Fire Department

"Surviving, Living, or Thriving"

At any given point in our lives we are either surviving, living, or thriving. My talk will integrate my personal story with knowledge acquired over 13 years of peer support to discuss this concept and how we can best seek to return to thriving again and again in the face of trauma.

Kwesi Millington, Former RCMP Officer, BComm., Resiliency Expert, Professional Speaker & Certified Speech Coach

"Rise Into Your Resilience"

During this engaging keynote, you’ll discover how to overcome any adversity, build better mental health and develop unstoppable confidence through cultivating resilience.

Dr. Beth Milliard, Ph. D. Criminal Justice/Law & Public Policy, Detective York Regional Police

“Utilization and Impact of Peer Support Programs on Police Officers’ Mental Health”

Research suggests that peer support is more than just a “conversation.” Stressors for police officers are complicated but organizational stressors seem to the most prevalent.  Lack of support (personal or professional) is detrimental for police officers.  Although peer support is effective, there needs to be clear standards for First Responders, especially in police organizations.

Dr. Steven Jett, Ph.D., C. Psych., MScCP   

“Understanding Trauma and the Treatment of PTSD”

About three-quarters of people experience trauma in their lives. The initial impact of trauma on the brain and body will be discussed. We will then discuss the effects of unresolved trauma on thoughts, feelings, and relationships. A discussion of psychological treatment approaches for PTSD will close this presentation.








If a group from a shared workstation is registering, designate one member to register on Eventbrite.

Then have this individual email me with names of others to facilitate seating plan and E-transfer of remaining registration fees.

A block of rooms under ‘Invisible Wounds’ will be available Oct 5th at the Holiday Inn and Conference Centre, 601

Scottsdale Drive, Guelph, ON, N1G 3E7. Breakfast is included.


On October 5th keynote speakers, special guests and volunteers will be attending a casual dinner at 18:00 at the

Holiday Inn. If you would like to join us pre-register with Deborah at dsmacd77@gmail.com Menu options and

prices will be posted on www.invisible-wounds.ca at a later date. Conference attendees send dietary restrictions.


Royal City Brewing Company will be offering taste testing on the 5th at the Holiday Inn.


Filming of the 2020 documentary by Neil White of Rogers TV begins at 20:00 hrs. at the Holiday Inn.


I will continue to be in contact with public health discussing COVID-19 protocols. Pre-screening will be done at registration on arrival be that on the 5th or 6th so please arrive early to facilitate this.

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