Spreading Awareness About PTSD, Addiction and Mental Health
Together We Can Staff members Mike Wilson and Nathan Macmaster drove up to Whistler on Sunday, February 12th with fifteen primary care residents in support of Terrance Kosikar and the “It’s not weak to speak – Not all wounds are visible” campaign.
The purpose of this trip was support Terrance in his quest to provide first-responsders suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder with the resources they need to find relief and stability in their lives.
The mission is to garner support for Bill M203, which aims to provide resources and aid for British Columbia’s first responders affected by PTSD.
Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, where the two nations, mountains and the rivers meet, hosted our group in Whistler for a demonstration of smudging and traditional dancing. TWC residents and staff in attendance were awestruck by the beauty displayed by these gentle people and felt spiritually centred on their way to Whistler Village afterwards.
Prayer and meditation then commenced at Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili's memorial site as those in attendance paid respect to this incredible athlete who passed away in an accident during the 2010 Summer Olympics. Terrance was the first paramedic to respond to the horrific scene and suffered from PTSD as a result.
TWC volunteers and staff spent the day flipping a 400 pound tire and speaking to the public about PTSD, addiction and mental health. A number of onlookers stopped what they were doing and began to help flip the tire themselves in a show of appreciation for this effort and the cause.
Terrance very generously treated TWC participants to dinner and a soak in the hot tub at the Summit Lodge in Whistler. Together We Can finds inspiration from Terrance's tireless efforts as he continues to find support for first-responders who suffer in silence due to stigma and lack of resources.
***The relationships that were forged in Whistler have already made a difference. Thanks so much to Summit Lodge, Mongolie Grill Whistler, Whistler-Blackcomb and the Scandanave Spa for supporting ELEVATE – Gala on Sunday March 5th. Your gifts for our Live auction were amazing!!! Someone got themselves an amzing weekend away. Thanks again.
“We should not have to prove our PTSD happened at work. We are first responders and we take the trauma home with us daily. It affects not only us, but our families and our friends. It is unacceptable and our provincial government needs to make changes.” – Terrance Kosikar