“Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Destiny”

by Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance

An open letter to a friend who is struggling with addiction.

I think of you often. Tonight, I decided to put my thoughts on paper.

When I was in my early forties, I was a young wife and mother with three small children. Due to circumstances at that time, I planned my suicide because I thought that everyone would be better off without me. I felt hopeless. Helpless. I believed I was a failure. To my children. To my husband. To everyone I loved.

That changed one morning. I was determined to make something of my life. I vowed that I would never let anyone suffer with depression without offering them my help.

Now, almost thirty years later, I have had a wonderful life most people only dream of having. Yes, there were unpleasant days, but I never gave up on my dream. I never let fear stand in my way of helping others. Continue reading ““Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Destiny””

Remembering Tim Casey: Your Work on Earth is Done

by Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren’t afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
~ Go Rest On the Mountain lyrics, Vince Gill

Tim-CaseyAlthough Tim Casey and I had never met in person, we had a long-standing friendship through emails and phone calls. Several years ago, I received his first email. He had attached an article he wrote about his struggles as a firefighter; the nightmares, his addiction to alcohol, and his suicide attempt. He wanted to share his story in an effort to touch one firefighter, officer or other first responder who was struggling with these same demons. He felt it was his duty as someone in recovery to tell them “help is available”.

Thank you, Tim, for your friendship and your efforts to help your brothers and sisters. May you find peace, at last, on that mountain.

Tim took his own life during the summer of 2015. Continue reading “Remembering Tim Casey: Your Work on Earth is Done”

Grieving Behind the Badge – Sarnia Ontario

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 14 OR Thursday, September 15

Grieving Behind the Badge

Following a distressing incident – the death of a child, a mass fatality, a line of duty death – some departments may provide a critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) or offer the assistance of a department chaplain. However, only a small number of departments offer educational programs that address the mental and emotional challenges of the job. The Grieving Behind the Badge training was developed to bring attention to the physical, mental, and emotional struggles of first responders and serves as a benchmark for all other programs addressing grief and traumatic stress. This is an interactive training that can improve their quality of life and job performance. The program will benefit firefighters, EMS personnel, public safety officers, 911 dispatchers together with department chaplains, mental health professionals, and emergency room staff.

Click here to register

Warrior’s Heart: A Healing Place for Veterans and First Responders

by Don Prince

A very close friend of mine encouraged me to visit the Warrior’s Heart website, and review them as a potential first responder facility for addiction and post traumatic stress. I called the 800 number and was pleasantly surprised to be speaking with Josh, a co-founder. He gave me a clear and concise description of their mission as well an overview of the day-to-day activities at Warrior’s Heart. I knew in my heart that I was talking with someone genuine. This place is something very special.

After a successful career with treatment facilities in Las Vegas, Josh Lannon and his wife, Lisa – a former police officer from Las Vegas – decided to open Warrior’s Heart, a place specific to veterans and first responders. They are down to earth couple with two young children. Continue reading “Warrior’s Heart: A Healing Place for Veterans and First Responders”