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."
SOURCE: Tema Conter Memorial Trust
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