Third Annual First Responder Suicide Awareness Conference

About the Conference

Despite a societal shift toward the de-stigmatization of mental health, both our first responder communities, their families, and our general communities at large sometimes experience declining mental health, which can lead to suicide. As we seek answers following a tragedy, we’re collectively left struggling to comprehend the actions of our loved ones or respected colleagues.

Law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, military personnel, corrections officers, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and a host of other related industries, are routinely exposed to trauma. Their families frequently experience vicarious trauma. It is during a time of crisis that response workers are at their best, but what happens to the helpers when they are done helping? What about the families? – they are the “first responders to the first responders.”

On September 14th, 2017, Legacy Place Society (, in collaboration with the Calgary Police Service, the Calgary Fire Department, Alberta Health Services-Emergency Medical Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Calgary Emergency Management Agency will be co-hosting the 3rd annual First Responder Suicide Awareness Conference in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day.

This conference will feature engaging speakers bringing awareness to the difficult topic of suicide while focusing on hope, resiliency and knowledge in the journey for good mental health. Please join us for a day of wellness and collaboration as we continue to support healthy resiliency strategies both at work and at home.

When the “I” is taken out of illness and replacing it with “We”, together it contributes to empowering wellness for the individual and family.

Calgary Police Chief Constable Roger Chaffin

“I strongly support the collaborative efforts with the First Responder Suicide Awareness Conference on September 14th in Calgary.”

Chief of Calgary Fire Department Steve Dongworth

“The challenges around the subject of suicide and mental health can be numbing. I welcome this event and encourage attendance.”

Alberta Health Services Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck

“AHS EMS is working hard to address these complex issues, and we cannot do it alone. Awareness is an important key in developing stigma reduction.”

RCMP Chief Superintendent Southern Alberta District Tony Hamori

“There are too many risks in not speaking to mental health or suicide awareness. I welcome the collaboration and encourage participation.”

Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson

“First responders are often involved early in the troubles of others, it is essential that we are also early in helping each other.”

Conference Details

Date & Time

September 14, 2017

8:00 – 16:30


Centre Street Church Central Campus

3900 2 St NE, Calgary Alberta


For our out of town guests the following hotel rates have been secured and are based on you making and paying for the booking directly with the hotel. Booking prices on line may vary depending on your personal discount affiliations:

Wingate by Wyndham

price based on 2 queen beds/room $109 plus tax. Free hot breakfast included
(587) 393-0700 (mention Legacy Place Society)
#57 Freeport Cres NE Calgary, AB

Executive Royal Hotel

price based on 2 queen beds/room $119 plus tax. Buffet breakfast is additional $14
(403) 291-2003 (mention Legacy Place Society)
2828 23rd St NE Calgary, AB


Roger Brown

Assistant Commissioner, RCMP (ret)
A proud Newfoundlander, Roger joined the RCMP in 1980 and after completing 36 years, retired in 2016. His career took him across Canada and abroad, where he worked in a number of disciplines: general duty policing…Continue Reading

John Conrad

Colonel, Canadian Army (ret)
John Conrad is a public servant, author, lecturer and former colonel in the Canadian Army where he served for 34 years. John has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Masters in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College at Kingston, Ontario…Continue Reading

Sergio Falzi

Sergeant, Calgary Police Service (ret)
Sergio Falzi is passionate about teaching mental health, resiliency and self-care for first responders. He has received his Master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with the focus on mitigating burnout in the workplace…Continue Reading

Dr. Patrick Baillie

Forensic Psychologist / Lawyer
Dr. Patrick Baillie is a forensic psychologist with Alberta Health Services and a Lawyer who completed his articles with the late Honourable Gail Vickery, then-Chief Judge, Provincial Court of Alberta. Since 1995, he also has been a… Continue Reading

Dr. Lauren Zanussi

Lauren Zanussi has lived in Calgary almost all of his life. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary and has degrees in Biochemistry and Medicine. He went on to be trained in Psychiatry and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada…Continue Reading

Dr. Megan McElheran

Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Megan McElheran is a Clinical Psychologist with WGM Psychological Services in Calgary, AB. Dr. McElheran completed graduate training at the Stanford University clinical psychology consortium…Continue Reading

Dr. Brendan Adams

Dr. Brendan Adams is an occupational physician from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from University of Toronto, and his M.D. from University of Calgary…Continue Reading

Health and Wellness Exhibition

Showcasing resources available to support the health and wellness of our first responders. If you would like to participate by setting up a booth, please contact

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding the conference, please email us
or call 403-428-8448