Badge Of Life Canada

Speaker’s Menu
Speaker’s Menu
Menu

Speaker’s Menu

Speaker Cost: $500 donation to Badge of Life Canada, Travel expenses at .40 cents/km return and meals.

William (Bill) RUSK B.A., Executive Director, Badge of Life Canada

Speaker Bio:
Bill Rusk is a retired Sergeant and veteran of 30-years in policing with 2 separate police services. Bill is a Police Chaplain and licensed lay worship leader with the United Church. Bill is a certified Critical Incident Stress Debriefer and certified in Peer Support.
Bill holds two unique distinctions:
  1. He is the only modern day police officer in Canada, who has been shot in the line of duty, with no suspect ever being arrested/charged, or even identified.
  2. He is married to a police officer, who was involved in her own police shooting, who subsequently developed severe-chronic PTSD, making them the only such police couple in Canada.
During his career, Bill has been recognized twice as Police Officer of the Year with separate police organizations, and is the recipient of the 20-year Police Exemplary Service Medal. Bill is the
recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Dennis R. Latten Award from the Police Association of Ontario, for long standing leadership, dedication and excellence in policing.
Bill has been a strong advocate for recognition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as an honourable workplace injury and for the introduction of presumptive legislation. From 2008-2014, Bill took
on additional responsibilities as a Director for the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) during which time he was a Director on the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation, (OPMF),  the Conducted Energy Working Group,
and a joint WSIB PTSD Working Group for the purposes of introducing presumptive legislation and guidelines within the Province of Ontario. As the Executive Director for Badge of Life Canada, Bill hopes to raise
the profile of BOLC as the predominant organizational voice regarding operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress and suicide prevention on behalf of police (sworn/civilian) and correctional personnel
across Canada who still suffer in silence.

TOPICS -“Surviving Trauma and Building Resilience in the Workplace – Perspectives on the Front Lines”

                   “The Hero’s Journey”

 Overview: Follow the Hero’s Journey through the eyes of lived first responder experience. Explore how your own Hero’s Journey can lead you from the abyss towards positive post-traumatic growth.

                   “Moral Injury – Follow the Path of the Hero’s Return” 

Overview:  Discussion around the necessary steps for restoring your spirit along the Hero’s Return from the abyss will be explored. Moral injury is “the pain that results from damage to a person’s moral foundation”. It is applicable to any First Responder or military type scenario. It is considered a new term but not a new concept.

                    “H.O.P.E.  Hearing Other People’s Experiences” 

Overview: Lived experience through the eyes of a police officer diagnosed with PTSD, married to an officer diagnosed with PTSD and a child diagnosed with PTSD.

                     “First Responder Connections For Mental Health”

Overview: BOLC website and BOLC Program overview. Programs reach out to all first responders through Hero’s Call and S.O.L.E. Sistas.


Dr. Jonathan Douglas (Past-President Ontario Psychology Association) Director, Badge of Life Canada

Speaker Bio:

Ontario Psychological Association – Past President Dr. Jonathan Douglas is a clinical psychologist, in private practice in Barrie, ON. His practice has evolved with a strong focus on trauma, particularly in veterans and first responders, but also including childhood trauma. He enjoys introducing innovative techniques while guiding the treatment with the consistent measurement of outcomes to ensure treatment progress. He is a passionate advocate for access to mental health services. Practice focused on: Police officers, firefighters, EMS professionals, 911/EMS dispatchers, active military and veterans.

    TOPICS – “What Composes an Operational Stress Injury Diagnosis?”

Overview: What components are necessary for a medical professional to make a diagnosis involving an operational stress injury, including post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety, along with suicide ideation.

                        “Sanctuary Trauma & Perceived Injustice” 

Overview: The little-recognized, yet profound, impact of perceived injustice (the sense that one has been harmed by another) and sanctuary trauma (the sense of betrayal when the institutions that are supposed to provide support fail to do so) and the impact upon the member.  Dealing with the failure of “the system” can be devastating to the member, and sometimes even worse than the trauma of the original incident. Employers, WSIB, and long-term disability insurers can all have a positive role in helping the member to heal—but they can also keep the member disabled, even as they are trying to save money by getting the member into a return to work program.


Lynne Rusk, Administration Director, Badge of Life Canada

Lynne Rusk is a retired Senior Officer and veteran of 20-years in policing with 2 separate police services. Lynne is a Police Chaplain and licensed lay worship leader with the United Church. Lynne is a certified Critical Incident Stress Debriefer and certified in Peer Support.

Speaker Bio:

Lynne has a unique perspective about having to deal with post-traumatic stress:

  • she has been involved in a serious shooting incident herself and has since retired from policing as the result of post-traumatic stress.
  • she is married to a police officer who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, as a result of having been shot in the line of duty.
  • she is the mother to a child who has been diagnosed with autism and post-traumatic stress.

Lynne hopes to raise the profile of Badge of Life Canada as the predominant organizational voice regarding operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress, and suicide prevention on behalf of all police (sworn/civilian) and correctional personnel across Canada who still struggle in silence.

TOPICS –“Resilience and Self-Care” 

Overview: Resilience and self-care alternative treatments that supplement evidence-based treatments.

                   “Family Supports”

Overview:  Family supports available to the member and the family unit.

                     “H.O.P.E.  Hearing Other People’s Experiences” 

Overview: Lived experience through the eyes of a police officer diagnosed with PTSD, married to an officer diagnosed with PTSD and a child diagnosed with PTSD.


Ralph Wolf Thistle, National Police Advisor, Badge of Life Canada

Ralph Wolf Thistle is a retired Senior Officer and veteran of 30-years in policing having worked in several divisions in Toronto Police Service. Ralph is a Police Chaplain, is a certified Critical Incident Stress Debriefer and certified in Peer Support.

Speaker Bio:

Senator Thistle is a retired 30 year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and has worked in homicide and missing people squad, criminal investigation bureau, youth bureau (child sexual assault investigator) and was also a training officer for recruits.

After numerous traumatic events Thistle was diagnosed with PTSD, alcoholism and depression.

Thistle started his journey of recovery six years ago by embracing his Métis culture. The MNO Toronto and York Region Métis Council (TYRMC) and the MNO Credit River Métis Council (CRMC) have loved and nurtured him back to spiritual health. He is repaying his dept of kindness by being an active citizen in the MNO.

Senator Thistle was invited to Malibu California by a United States (US) veterans group called The Sparta Project (Spiritual Process and Resiliency Training Association). Senator Thistle took part in this innovative program, which combines holistic and alternative methods to provide help in working through suicide and self-destructive behaviour.

TOPICS –“Addictions”

Overview:  What are addictions and how do they play a role in the performance of your duties, daily personal life and harm to the family unit.

                   “Spiritual Awakening”