Vince Savoia: A PTSD Survivor
TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - In 1988, paramedic Vince Savoia attended to the homicide of Ms. Tema Conter. This event not only changed the life of Mr. Savoia, but it also changed the lives of the Conter family.
Dealing with the feelings of guilt, anger, and frustration, Savoia began his long battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Flashbacks, nightmares, isolation, and hyper- vigilance were some of the symptoms that Savoia needed to deal with.
Hoping that his experience could help others, Savoia founded the Tema Conter Memorial Trust in 2001. Through research, education, training, and through the provision of peer and psychological support, TEMA aims to help the men and women working within the correctional, emergency and military services.
Savoia has become an expert in work-related mental health and wellness.
As a former paramedic and emergency medical dispatcher, Savoia was a member of the first-ever Critical Incident Stress Management team at Toronto EMS. He has an extensive background in crisis coaching and intervention, peer support, personal and executive coaching, training and education, and is a highly sought after public speaker.
A graduate of Royal Roads University and Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, Savoia is also currently a member of the York Region Critical Incident Stress Management Team, an advisor to Peer Support Accreditation Certification (Canada), a qualified Mental Health Works trainer with the Canadian Mental Health Association, a certified Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training instructor, as well as a professor at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology teaching in the School of Public Safety, Emergency Communications Services program.
"Despite TV shows like "Flashpoint" and "Law & Order" highlighting and validating the existence of PTSD, there is still an enormous stigma that needs to be dealt with," said Savoia. "TEMA is here to provide information and support to those suffering, but also to the general public. People need to understand that our heroes are human."
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