Chad Kennedy is a Canadian Armed Forces (non-combat) veteran, has been involved in Law Enforcement since 2004 in various roles, currently a member of the Alberta Sheriffs Highway Patrol, he has been off work due to his Post Traumatic Stress Injury since February 2021.
Chad has watched his father, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, battle his challenges with CPTSD since 2002.
After being diagnosed with PTSD back in 2018 due to cumulated traumatic experiences observed during his first 3.5 years working “the highway of death” (highway 63) in northern Alberta, Chad would be faced with bad psychological help, bestowing the fear of returning to psych professionals for help, he would continue working while medicated.
July 18th 2020, Chad along with 5 other law enforcement members would be the first group of Public Safety Personnel to respond to a mas-casualty bus rollover at the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park. This is an event that there would be no training or preparation for, an event in the middle of nowhere that would leave a small crew helpless for well over an hour before Fire, EMS, and air support could attend.
With no help from management, no resources, and lack of support, Chad would hold the Demons at bay for two weeks. On August 2nd, while self medicating around a back yard fire, Chad had the plan and the means to die by suicide… As quick as the plan had come into thought, Chad, along with Captain Morgan would make the plan to walk Canada to raise awareness of PTS in the Public Safety, Military, and Veteran Communities. A decision that would change his life and help inspire others.
Chad has been the victim of brutal hazing and bullying in the Canadian Armed Forces, he has survived tremendous traumas while working as a Special Constable, RCMP Auxiliary Member, and with the Alberta Highway Patrol. He has witnessed to bullying, systemic bullying, moral trauma, and has worked for an agency with no Mental Health program in place. Through no help, bad help, and good help, Chad has pushed on and cherishes the impact of “post traumatic growth”, through losing everything, I have gained everything.
April 2nd, 2022, the Sea to Sea for PTSD campaign would converge on Cranbrook BC and complete the 1st leg of the cross Canada walk on September 9th in Montreal. On June 2nd 2023, the Sea to Sea Team would start the 2nd leg of the trans Canada walk in Quebec City and end in St. John’s on August 4th.
It was while visiting in Gander that Chad saw how welcoming and generous the people of Newfoundland were, reading up on how the community pulled together to welcome people from all around the world during 9/11, and even further back, how the community came together when the 101st Airborne Division lost hundreds in a tragic event just outside of their community.
This is the true definition of “community”, this is where Chad and the team would officially announce a second walk across Canada, stepping off in St. John’s, making our way west to Vancouver. Unfortunately, this year our time was limited in Newfoundland so a few communities were missed, we will work hard logistically to plan stops in communities we’ve missed.
To date we have had the opportunity to visit with the RCMP Depot Division, met with high ranking officers within the RCMP, various municipal and provincial agencies, Fire Agencies, EMS Agencies, Veterans Groups, Veterans Affairs, MP’s, MLA’s, and MHA’s. The right people are starting to listen and engage during the critical conversations surrounding mental health. “One Step At A Time…”
We are looking forward to returning to St. John’s in 2025.
Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram @Seatoseaforptsd for the official Step Off date.