Badge of Life Canada itself does not offer peer support services. We have sought out and validated the existence of peers with lived experience and groups who are presently doing peer support work within their communities. We look for positive growth amongst those who are listed as having lived experience and confirm that they have their own self-care plans to ensure their own well-being as they work to support others. We believe that mental health professionals are part of the journey and maintenance in a healthy life of a survivor.
It is incumbent upon each person who reaches out to an individual with lived experience or peer group to determine if they are the right fit for their individual needs. Empathy may be the key connecting factor – recognizing a person who has walked in their shoes.
Name: Tom Gabriel (Dipl.) ACW, ICADC, CCAC
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Individual within the Toronto Police Association
Training: ICISF (basic and advanced), ASIST, Peer Support (basic and advanced), Addiction Counsellor.
Certification: Certified addiction counsellor (ICADC & CCAC with the CACCF)
Education: Ontario Police College, McMaster University
Years’ Experience –
As a front-line responder: 35 years
As a peer support provider: 19 years
As a PTSD survivor: N/A
Retired or Active: Retired as a Police Officer but employed at the Toronto Police Association.
Tom Gabriel is certified as an International Alcohol and Drug Counsellor (ICADC), a Certified Canadian Addictions Counsellor (CCAC) and holds a diploma as an Addiction Care Worker that he received from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His extensive back ground includes 35 years as a former Police Officer that has given him a unique perspective with those who suffer from addiction not only from the streets of Toronto, but also within his own profession when dealing with colleagues and their families during his eight year tenure with the Toronto Police Service’s Employee and Family Assistance Program. In 2012 he retired from the Police Service but continued to pursue his passion of assisting Service Members and families and is currently employed by the Toronto Police Association as an EFAP Consultant, Crisis and Addictions Counsellor. To recognize his achievements in policing, he was awarded with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and Renascent Foundation’s Peter Armstrong Award for his work with Service Members and their families.
Tom has been an active member of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF) for the last 16 years, having served 6 of those years on the CACCF Board of Directors as President, Vice President, Board Secretary and other committee positions. Tom is presently the President of Addiction Studies Forum Inc. (Annual Institute on Addiction Studies), a Member of the Board of Directors for Alpha House (long term addiction recovery home for men in Toronto) and has been appointed as a Special Advisor – Peer Support Services, for Mood Disorders Society of Canada.
Name: Paul Glennie
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Peer Support Training: none yet
Peer Support Certification: none yet
Education: Certified Holistic Nutritionist
Years’ Experience –
As a front-line responder:10
As a peer support provider:3
As a PTSD survivor:5
Retired or Active: Active
Paul Glennie is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police serving in Alberta. Paul started his career with the RCMP in 2006 when he graduated Depot as Troop Valedictorian, and received the Legion Award for the cadet most exemplifying the the RCMP core principles. Paul’s began his career working in northern Manitoba in a First Nation community and was then transferred to a southern Manitoba to a municipal detachment. His next stop was to the ‘G’ Division Northern Relief Unit, exploring Canada’s north for a year and a half; this was followed up by a transfer to a NWT detachment. After his second northern tour, Paul was transferred to Alberta where he has worked in two municipal detachments thus far. Paul experience in the RCMP has been very diverse ranging from rural and city policing on the Prairies, to remote and isolated postings in the Arctic.
After a series of on duty traumatic experiences, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2011. The impact of PTSD had a severe impact on his physical and mental health, often leaving him to feel isolated, confused, and scared. Paul also turned heavily towards alcohol in an attempt to cope with emotional disarray. Paul sought help and began the road to recovery by attending an Operational Stress Injury Clinic where he received treatment for PTSD. He also voluntarily attended a substance abuse facility to get help in dealing with alcohol. He attributes the decision to seek help for PTSD one of the most challenging and rewarding decisions he has ever made in his life.
Paul is very open about his struggles with both PTSD and alcoholism and hopes to be able to share with others that it is possible to survive and have a more bountiful life, free of traumatic triggers and reliance on toxic substances. Paul has found immense value in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being of support and service to others in need. He understand the depths that PTSD and alcoholism can take someone to and wishes to be of help to others who may be suffering. He participated in PTSD awareness video for RCMP members entitled ‘You are not alone”, a video produced by the webpage Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness. The video was seen by thousands and currently uploaded to the RCMP internal health and wellness page.
Paul currently sits on the Board of Directors with the National Police Federation (NPF), an organization lobbying to become the sole collective bargaining agent on behalf of members of the RCMP. Prior to that, he sat on the Board of Directors for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) with a mandate similar in capacity to that of the NPF. Paul is also on the Board of Directors at the Edmonton Alano Club, an organization dedicated to providing 12 step support groups for substance abuse and addiction. He is currently his detachment’s Respectful Workplace Ambassador.
Name: Brian Knowler
Location: Southern Ontario
Training: CISR, Crisis Intervention Training, MANERS Psychological First Aid
Certification: CISR, Crisis Intervention Training
Education: BA History, Bachelor of Laws, Extensive list of law-enforcement related training available if required
Years’ Experience –
As a front-line responder: 18
As a peer support provider: 11 yrs
As a PTSD survivor: incident in 2004, diagnosis in 2012
Retired or Active: Active Sgt– Ontario Provincial Police
Background Information: Brian Knowler has 18 years of policing experience. Brian has served in a wide variety of roles: media relations, school liaison, bike and all-terrain vehicle patrol, emergency management, recruiting, and incident command. He is a trained CISR team member and spent 5 years on the OPP Trauma Support Team before taking a leave in 2012.
Brian is also a fully licenced lawyer and a proud member of several professional law associations.
In 2004, Brian was the first responder to the scene of a motor vehicle collision that took the life of the driver, a close friend from university. He buried the memories and effects of that night and hid himself in work, promotions, and isolation from his friends and family.
Finally, in 2012, the dam broke and Brian began seeking treatment for his diagnosed PTSD. He was immediately ‘out of the closet’ about his PTSD and made it a priority to inform both his officers and the public about the prevalence of PTSD in policing.
In March 2016, Brian published ‘On the Other Side of Broken – One Cop’s Battle With the Demons of PTSD. The book was an immediate success and has also opened up opportunities for Brian to do media consultations, training, and public speaking, often with his wife Cathy as his speaking partner.
Brian firmly believes that his family has been the key to his recovery and success and that the journey through trauma can be one of rediscovery and rebuilding. PTSD needs to be dragged into the light, not hidden away in the shadows!
Name: Bruce Lacillade, MA
Location: Niagara Region of Ontario
Training: Ontario Fire College, Two years Diaconate Formation- Catholic Diocese of St. Catharine’s,
Education: Mohawk College, Ontario Fire College, University of Cincinnati, St. Francis Xavier University.
Workshops: Investigative Interviewing (Blue Line Convention) Centering Prayer (Diocese of St. Catharine’s)
As a front-line responder: 25
As a peer support provider: 15
As a PTSD survivor: 40
Retired or Active: Retired as Fire Prevention Inspector from Burlington Fire Service (10 years as Firefighter & 15 years as Fire Prevention Inspector). Presently do contract work as fire protection consultant, and volunteer work with the Canadian and American Legions, as well as other veteran groups.
Bruce holds a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Care and for the last 20 years has held the distinguished position of American Legion Chaplain for Ontario as well as Chaplain for the United Council of Veterans (Hamilton & Area) for 10 years.
As a U.S. Navy combat veteran and also retired from a career with the Burlington Fire Service in Ontario, Bruce has a passionate and vested interest in assisting Veterans as well as Emergency Response Personnel, with their Faith and Spiritual matters. This has been achieved through counseling as a Peer Support both one-on-one, as well as in group settings.
A compassionate yet realistic man, Bruce draws on a wealth of training and personal experience in addition to his calling and vocation as a Chaplain and leader in his Parish. He has been providing Spiritual Moral Guidance for 15 years and finds working with individual Clients and groups, from a moral and faith perspective, to be a very rewarding experience and a significant one, especially during those times when his Clients find healthy options elusive.
Over the past decade Bruce has also facilitated a variety of seminars and training programs dealing with several different topics including Spiritual and Faith issues, Health and Safety, and Fire Protection. He has also authored and published two (2) books on Fire Protection as well as several respected articles on Spirituality.
Bruce is also associated with Branches Ministry in St. Catharine’s, Ontario where he is a small group facilitator.
For several years he also facilitated a monthly Men’s Breakfast at St. Helen’s Church in Beamsville, Ontario where he lives with his wife of 26 years.
Mobile phone: 905-380-6328