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Local Heroes Support Program


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Photo of Angela Holmes.

By Trafalgar’s Editorial Team
This Article is Clinically Reviewed By Angela Holmes, M.A., R.P.



Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres is proud to offer the Local Heroes Support Program.

Our Heroes Program provides 30-day intensive residential treatment for First Responders suffering from addiction and mental health issues at no cost. Up to 50 First Responders will be able to benefit from this program over the next 12 months.

UPDATE

Due to COVID-19, we temporarily transitioned Local Heroes Residential Program into an online platform that First Responders can access from the safety of their own homes. You can learn more about the details of the virtual program on this page.
We see a group of First Responders.

Supporting Our Heroes

First Responders are our heroes when we face emergencies. What we might encounter once in a lifetime is their daily work.

They address crises several times a day, day after day, putting their lives at risk in helping us, the public. However, they are human too.

With years of responding to critical incidents and traumatic events, First Responders will often incur a number of physical injuries, life-threatening addictions, and mental health issues.

First Responders Have Difficulties Accessing The Help They Need


Why access to care is difficult?

  • Perceived Stigma icon.

    Perceived Stigma

    The fear of not being fit for duty is overbearing and crushing for most of the First Responder community. First Responders may worry that they are letting the team down, or worse, they fear they will be ostracized.

  • Burden of Proof icon.

    Burden of Proof

    They are unable to prove that they suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or OSI (Occupational Stress Injury), a criteria for receiving funded access to care.

  • Checklist icon.

    Long Waiting Lists

    There is a significant waiting time for provincially funded beds from 6 months to a year. Waiting for access to help and treatment exacerbates addiction and mental health issues.

  • Concurrent Disorders icon.

    Concurrent Disorders*

    Most programs in Canada are not equipped or designed to treat Concurrent Disorders* or symptoms and diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).

*Our evidence-based treatment ensures that we address underlying mental health issues alongside addiction, treating them as concurrent disorders.

Making Care More Accessible For First Responders

Trafalgar is committed to providing First Responders with access to evidence-based treatment.

The Need

Shane Saltzman
Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

First Responders are there when we need them, facing situations that are unimaginable to most of us. These heroes put their lives and emotional wellbeing on the line for our collective benefit, and far too many are suffering without support. At Trafalgar, we are committed to assisting those in the First Responder community, and we hope the Local Heroes Support Program provides help to some and increases the dialogue on this important and urgent issue.

Bryan Stevens
Retired Frontline Service Veteran and Founder Frontline Forward

I’m a retired 30 year Frontline Service Veteran who served the people of Ontario as a Paramedic. I was one of the highest trained, educated, and certified paramedics Canada has to offer. I was a Critical Flight Paramedic who worked on board the helicopter based out of London, Ontario. With the level of training I had it was my duty and responsibility to take care of the worst trauma patients, and the most complicated medical patients of all ages. During my career I have responded to approximately 10,000 calls. That equates to being exposed to a major traumatic event every other day for 3 decades. In 2015, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD that required almost 18 months of psychotherapy treatment. I have experienced STD/LTD, and WSIB support, and from that experience and exposure I’m very aware of the HOLES in the support network and how our First Responders and Military Personnel are being left behind. This community is “screaming in silence” for easier access and support to treatment centres for the early detection, and on going support for Mental Health Stress related injuries.

A. Jardin
First Responder

Being off work due to complex PTSD, depression and chronic pain, after a successful career of serving the city that I once loved and grew to hate because I saw so much horrific things. I had lost faith in humanity, felt abandoned by my employer and had lost hope in myself, of ever being able to return to society. Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Center was truly my last attempt to create a new life. I can honestly say the infrastructure of support is set up for you to be successful. With a slew of professional doctors, psychiatrist and psychotherapist all working together to ensure my success combined with nurturing counselors and amazing food. It was truly the first time in years that I felt hopeful. I am truly grateful for the entire staff and for my stay at Trafalgar. I am proud to say I no longer see my future as a dark place, rather as an opportunity to recreate myself in a new way.

Steven D.
First Responder

Initially reaching out for help was challenging, due to the stigma that is held by many officers about the need to keep feelings bottled up. Navigating the system to find a program to help me has been challenging. I met a psychiatrist after seeking help for alcohol withdrawal, this proved to be a great support. Eventually I was directed to a treatment centre that had a waitlist up to 6 months and when that facility was contacted, they stated that they lost my file, which resulted in me waiting longer. I attended two 12 step-based facilities. I found it did not help me and the issues I was looking to address. PTSD groups were large groups that created an uncomfortable environment for me and I was unable to share my pain in safe way. I have known 9 officers who have ended their lives and I am hoping that this scary trend will stop. There is a need to have quicker access and smaller groups that address the needs of First Responders.

Staff Sergeant Wendy Sims
Organizational Wellness Unit Peel Regional Police

Usually, when a First Responder is reaching out for help, it is most often at a time when they are already in a very dark place. It is usually at a time when they realize they can no longer cope without help. Access into a treatment program and access to psychologists in a timely fashion is imperative for successful recovery and continued resilience in their overall mental health and well-being. Admission processes, wait lists for publicly funded beds, and even WSIB case reviews can take considerable time, and can sometimes be too late when a First Responder is in crisis.

Application & Admission Process


To receive a secure electronic application form:

    CALL NOW(1-855-972-9760)
    OR
    LET US CALL YOU
          I agree to receive electronic communications from Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

    When you click below, you accept our Terms.

    A client is happy with his treatment at Trafalgar.
    Local Heroes badge.

    Eligibility Criteria will be based on:

    – Must meet Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres’s regular Eligibility Criteria.
    – Must have an addiction component.
    – Date of first service.
    – Years in service.
    – Date of retirement (Pre Bill163 Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act – Transition Date)
    – Date of specific traumatic event (severity and degree of emergency) if applicable.
    – Readiness to accept care.
    – Steps taken to obtain care.
    – Level of support the First Responder would currently benefit from.

    FEATURED PRESS

    The Interview on Newstalk 1010

    Shane Saltzman, CEO of Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres, was a guest on The Weekend Morning Show with Dave Trafford on Sunday, November 24.
    They discussed the mental health issues that many First Responders face, and what Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres aims to accomplish with Local Heroes Support Program.

    You may listen to the show below or read the transcript here.


    The Interview on FM 98.5 CKWR

    Scott Jones, our Community Liaison and Kinga Burjan, our Clinical Director of Virtual Integrated Programming, joined Bryan Stevens, President / Founder of Frontline Forward to discuss Trafalgar’s Local Heroes Support Program on Frontline Forward Radio (FM 98.5 CKWR) on Sunday, December 8, 2019.

    You may listen to the show below or read the transcription here.

    You may read the press release here:
    Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

    About Trafalgar

    Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres is an experienced and accredited provider of Addiction and Mental Health treatment in Canada. We have an intensive, individualized approach focusing on Concurrent disorders. We have a trauma-informed clinic and a proven model to treat First Responders for substance abuse, behavioural addiction and mental health issues.

    CARF accrediation badge
    Better Business Bureau badge
    Best Addiction treatment centers in Guelph
    LEARN MORE ABOUT

    Our Local Heroes Program


    Consult with a professional now to learn how we can help you or your loved one.

      CALL NOW(1-855-972-9760)
      OR
      LET US CALL YOU
            I agree to receive electronic communications from Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

      When you click below, you accept our Terms.

      A client is happy with his treatment at Trafalgar.