Tanya Sealock brings a unique, positive and vital perspective to the mental health arena. She has 14 years of experience as the administrator and first point of contact at the CFD Wellness Centre, and being married to a firefighter, she understands the nuances and potential impacts of emergency response and shift work on the whole family. She is a Road to Mental Readiness instructor, a lead member of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team, certified in ASIST and MHFA, (and has successfully completed several courses through the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute), a volunteer with Canadian Mental Health Association as a trained Suicide Bereavement Peer Support, and trained co-facilitator for registered CMHA grief and suicide loss groups. Tanya was one of the guest speakers at 2017 Survivors of Suicide Loss Day conference held in November of each year and has recently become a member of the Committee for this event.
Tanya takes the time with every firefighter she comes in contact with. She feels connection is vital, and stresses the importance of providing a safe setting for mental health discussion. This can include a simple conversation to ‘catch up’ and hear what’s been happening in their lives, to providing a variety of coping mechanisms, techniques, tools and self-care strategies that can support the firefighter. Beginning right from the recruit stage, she has the opportunity to touch base and catch up with each and every firefighter annually on a personal level (or more often if required) to check in regarding their mental wellness and if needed, support them as they navigate through mental health struggles and challenges. Tanya feels that it is equally important to educate the firefighter’s families, and those within their four walls with the same proactive and preventative tools and techniques, so they can recognize the observable behaviors that may indicate mental health struggle or prolonged stress.
Tanya brings a compelling story of experience that clearly shows her desire to share the importance of identifying challenges and continuing what can be lifesaving conversations on mental health.