Mountie who witnessed bus beheading dies by suicide


tay
+1
#1
After a long struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, a Mountie who witnessed the beheading of a Greyhound bus passenger has taken his own life.


A family member has confirmed that recently-retired RCMP corporal Ken Barker died by suicide last weekend. A total of 13 Canadian first responders have taken their own lives over the past 10 weeks.


For first-responders, PTSD is all too common. Those burdened with confronting horrific crime scenes and accidents often suffer psychologically. For people like Andy Cunningham, that suffering is largely done in silence.


"I was afraid that people would think I'm weak," said the firefighter.


At first, Cunningham didn’t want to tell his supervisors. But after 22 years on the job, the trauma became too much.


"I started seeing all the bad calls that I had ever run,” he said. “Dead bodies, parts of people, horrific accidents," said Andy Cunningham.


Vince Savoia, a former paramedic and founder of the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, said Cunningham isn’t alone in being afraid to speak up.


"When they finally do come up and ask for help, they are harassed, they are ridiculed, they are isolated, they are ignored," said Savoia.


With nowhere to turn for help, some turn to suicide. Ottawa's fire chief is calling the situation a national epidemic.


"The leadership has to step up, people look to the leaders of organizations to say it is OK to talk about mental health issues," said John de Hooge.


An estimated 24 per cent of first-responders suffer from PTSD. And though the government says they’re receiving care, Savoia still thinks the problem is being ignored.


"If they do acknowledge it, it is an admission that somewhere along the way they have failed," he said.


Mountie who witnessed Greyhound bus beheading dies by suicide | CTV News (external - login to view)







 
Sal
+5
#2  Top Rated Post
that is tragic, they see more bloodshed and the results of violence than many soldiers do, yet they don't get support

I find it disturbing that other first responders would mock and ridicule those struggling the PTSD...what kind of first responders are they that have no understanding of the workings of the mind or compassion for fellow team family?
 
Twila
+2
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post


I find it disturbing that other first responders would mock and ridicule those struggling the PTSD...what kind of first responders are they that have no understanding of the workings of the mind or compassion for fellow team family?

Clearly this is a job that should require manditory counselling for ALL employees regularily. Maybe it if were manditory for ALL then those who feel they need to belittle others can be talk about this need to belittle. Those who are afraid to seek it out themselves will be relieved of that fear. Those who think they can handle it will know they don't have to. We know what witnessing atrocities, violence, and death does to people who see it as a one off incident, so we should know what it will do to those who are our first line of domestic defense.
 
WLDB
+1
#4
Unfortunate, but not too surprising. Just seeing a video of something like this disturbed me for months. Seeing it happen in person must be a hell of a lot more disturbing to see and live with. Its also disturbing that this person in the position he was in did not have the resources he needed to deal with this. 13 suicides in 10 weeks? If this problem is being dealt with as they claim it is, they are doing a really sh*tty job.
 
QuebecCanadian
#5
So sad!
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

Clearly this is a job that should require manditory counselling for ALL employees regularily.

You don't have that? Damn. Most large police, fire, and emergency medical departments down hereabouts in South Canada have mandatory counselling annually and after any traumatic event.

Weird. Normally we think of Canadian health care as superior. Seems like this is one area y'all need to do some catching up.
 
Sal
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by QuebecCanadianView Post

So sad!

yes so sad...my nephew is a fire fighter, Christmas is a bad time of year for them
 
darkbeaver
#8
I pictured the front end of a bus being chopped off. add hydraulic fluidsnsqueeking over the road

Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

You don't have that? Damn. Most large police, fire, and emergency medical departments down hereabouts in South Canada have mandatory counselling annually and after any traumatic event.

Weird. Normally we think of Canadian health care as superior. Seems like this is one area y'all need to do some catching up.

Ya we,ll look into it, some sort of inquierey I suppose, the crown should be involved, I gfuess, fournicate offf
 
Tecumsehsbones
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

Ya we,ll look into it, some sort of inquierey I suppose, the crown should be involved, I gfuess, fournicate offf

Mmmoody!
 
darkbeaver
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Mmmoody!

Y ah, the sunset was sapectacular this eve
 
Sal
+2
#11
trigger:

love the Moody Blues

this song in particular, haven't thought of it in a while...

The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin - YouTube

 
Tecumsehsbones
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaverView Post

Y ah, the sunset was sapectacular this eve

Funny how the sunset is equal for nice folks like Sal and surly, crazy a$$holes like you, enit?

Makes a body think.
 
darkbeaver
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Funny how the sunset is equal for nice folks like Sal and surly, crazy a$$holes like you, enit?

Makes a body think.

What do you know about thinking?
 
PoliticalNick
-1
#14
Firstly WTF was this mountie doing while the dude was beheading somebody? If he just sat and watched it is probably a good thing he is no longer a cop. That leads me to believe he wasn't suffering from PTSD but an overall feeling of inadequacy and responsibility for the person having their head chopped off and he would be right. Hate me all ya want for saying it but the cop was a coward for not jumping in.

Second, I don't think we need mandatory counselling, we need mandatory psych testing before they get hired to see if they can handle the job. No pass the test....no job for you. Simple as that.

Last, they should all receive training in identifying PTSD and other dissociative disorders commonly attributed to major stress or trauma. Then they can get rid of the person before they lose it completely....with psych care as long as they don't slam the door on their way out.
 
lone wolf
+2
#15
That's not an easy image to shake.

The good news is: It gets easier ... but the bad news is: It gets easier. When that last little piece breaks - it's gone.

At Peace
 
WLDB
+4
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post


Weird. Normally we think of Canadian health care as superior. Seems like this is one area y'all need to do some catching up.

Our mental healthcare in particular is s*it.

Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Firstly WTF was this mountie doing while the dude was beheading somebody? If he just sat and watched it is probably a good thing he is no longer a cop. That leads me to believe he wasn't suffering from PTSD but an overall feeling of inadequacy and responsibility for the person having their head chopped off and he would be right. Hate me all ya want for saying it but the cop was a coward for not jumping in.

The beheading itself was done by the time he was on the scene. Hell even if he had been on the bus he probably wouldn't have been able to stop it. Even the people who were there didn't know it was happening til it was almost over. Their reactions were to get off the bus as fast as possible. In the end someone does have to go in there to arrest the guy and clean up the mess in there which is probably a difficult thing to do if you have any emotions at all. Perhaps you should have read the story.
 
B00Mer
+2
#17
PTSD and nobody caught it.. very sad ending to an already horrific tragedy.
 
damngrumpy
+1
#18
Unfortunately I think there is a fundamental switch in peoples minds
News people who covered Vietnam or D Day and Stalingrad they
didn't suffer the same thing and they were in many cases front line
with the troops or behind the lines
Soldiers from WWII were overseas for longer periods and they didn't
suffer the same that we know of. That we know of might be the key.
maybe they did suffer the same but coped much better. If that is the
case, and this is only a question, How or what are we missing in training
preparing these people for such horrific scenes.
Something has changed and we have to find out what that something is.
 
PoliticalNick
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

Our mental healthcare in particular is s*it.



The beheading itself was done by the time he was on the scene. Hell even if he had been on the bus he probably wouldn't have been able to stop it. Even the people who were there didn't know it was happening til it was almost over. Their reactions were to get off the bus as fast as possible. In the end someone does have to go in there to arrest the guy and clean up the mess in there which is probably a difficult thing to do if you have any emotions at all. Perhaps you should have read the story.

The story is quite old. I didn't think I remembered a cop on board but who cares. We are a nation of pu$$ies. The only time the cops are actually tough is when there are 6 or more on an unarmed person and even then they need tasers and batons.
 
Blackleaf
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

that is tragic, they see more bloodshed and the results of violence than many soldiers do, yet they don't get support

They see more violence and bloodshed that many Canadian soldiers too.

This guy would be no good as a soldier if he kills himself after seeing someone get decapitated.
 
Sal
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Soldiers from WWII were overseas for longer periods and they didn't
suffer the same that we know of. That we know of might be the key.
maybe they did suffer the same but coped much better. If that is the

case, and this is only a question, How or what are we missing in training
preparing these people for such horrific scenes.
Something has changed and we have to find out what that something is.

They had each other...they were not isolated and society was quietly forgiving.

Yes they did suffer from it...I didn't know that until I was around 20 and laying out in my tiny bikini sunning in the back yard...that almost always used to bring the old guy over the back fence outside to have a beer. It was a sunny hot summer, I was out a lot, he drank a lot of beer. He was in the navy I remember his tats...we got talking, we talked frequently. I am not a chatter so it got real fast. The war had been over for 20 years and he had never slept through a night since. Night terrors.

I was horrified. Started talking to my mum about my grandfather who was in WWl...same thing.

So I started talking about it a lot with a lot of people. I also worked for the liquor board later which gave me a wealth of people to question since most of them were all old vets.

They were heavy, heavy drinkers and they gathered at the Legion almost daily. They worked for the CNR and the liquor board...the rate of alcoholism was over the top. We all turned a blind eye to it and we let them be. We forgave the absences because in our heart we knew they had seen unspeakable things, done unspeakable things...and we let them have each other and we let them drink.

Having others who don't mock you, who don't judge you, who look at you and see your wounds and then have a drink and let you go home to your family...that got them through.

That's what I concluded.

Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

They see more violence and bloodshed that many Canadian soldiers too.

This guy would be no good as a soldier if he kills himself after seeing someone get decapitated.

Yes, it triggered some unhealed wound and he didn't know how to live with it.
 
Twila
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Unfortunately I think there is a fundamental switch in peoples minds
News people who covered Vietnam or D Day and Stalingrad they
didn't suffer the same thing and they were in many cases front line
with the troops or behind the lines
Soldiers from WWII were overseas for longer periods and they didn't
suffer the same that we know of. That we know of might be the key.
maybe they did suffer the same but coped much better. If that is the
case, and this is only a question, How or what are we missing in training
preparing these people for such horrific scenes.
Something has changed and we have to find out what that something is.

I think you're right. Learning the why's and how's could be used in so many fields different fields. Instead of relying on a pill a day to cope, we'd know how to permanently fix the brain.

It would be useful with vets, police, children in school. We could avoid medicating the general population into compliance and instead of getting by, they could flourish and succeed.

A change in mindset would be required. The belief that "since I can do it, others should be able to" would definatley have to change.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+3
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

They had each other...they were not isolated and society was quietly forgiving.
Yes they did suffer from it...I didn't know that until I was around 20 and laying out in my tiny bikini sunning in the back yard...that almost always used to bring the old guy over the back fence outside to have a beer. It was a sunny hot summer, I was out a lot, he drank a lot of beer. He was in the navy I remember his tats...we got talking, we talked frequently. I am not a chatter so it got real fast. The war had been over for 20 years and he had never slept through a night since. Night terrors.
I was horrified. Started talking to my mum about my grandfather who was in WWl...same thing.
So I started talking about it a lot with a lot of people. I also worked for the liquor board later which gave me a wealth of people to question since most of them were all old vets.
They were heavy, heavy drinkers and they gathered at the Legion almost daily. They worked for the CNR and the liquor board...the rate of alcoholism was over the top. We all turned a blind eye to it and we let them be. We forgave the absences because in our heart we knew they had seen unspeakable things, done unspeakable things...and we let them have each other and we let them drink.

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
When I was a kid, there weren't no Indians crazier'n the ones who served in WWII and Korea. Later, Vietnam. Everybody and his cousin has stories of cold, detached fathers in the 50s and 60s. That was also the era of the three-martini lunch. As you say, Sal, their alcohol consumption was epic by today's standards.

I wonder how much of the model of "normal" manhood that developed when we were kids was the result of repressed PTSD.
 
Sal
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

When I was a kid, there weren't no Indians crazier'n the ones who served in WWII and Korea. Later, Vietnam. Everybody and his cousin has stories of cold, detached fathers in the 50s and 60s. That was also the era of the three-martini lunch. As you say, Sal, their alcohol consumption was epic by today's standards.

I wonder how much of the model of "normal" manhood that developed when we were kids was the result of repressed PTSD.

Absolutely.

Be tough, suck it up, defend yourself.

We know we have to remove soldiers after 30 to 60 days of combat...those poor fukers...five years.

And WWl in mud and blood and guts...can't come back from that...and they didn't, not really.
 
petros
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Unfortunately I think there is a fundamental switch in peoples minds
News people who covered Vietnam or D Day and Stalingrad they
didn't suffer the same thing and they were in many cases front line
with the troops or behind the lines
Soldiers from WWII were overseas for longer periods and they didn't
suffer the same that we know of. That we know of might be the key.
maybe they did suffer the same but coped much better. If that is the
case, and this is only a question, How or what are we missing in training
preparing these people for such horrific scenes.
Something has changed and we have to find out what that something is.

Shell shock. There is nothing new about it.
 
Twila
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Shell shock. There is nothing new about it.

George Carlin on Shell shock

George Carlin Shell Shock - YouTube

 
Sal
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

George Carlin on Shell shock

says it exactly like it is

he was brilliantly funny
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

Absolutely.

Be tough, suck it up, defend yourself.

We know we have to remove soldiers after 30 to 60 days of combat...those poor fukers...five years.

And WWl in mud and blood and guts...can't come back from that...and they didn't, not really.

Had a girlfriend whose father was a German-American from Wisconsin, son of immigrants. His whole unit (12th Armored) was from Wisconsin. Half of 'em spoke German. He was a plasterer in Wisconsin. His father was a plasterer in Wurzburg. When his unit invaded Wurzburg, with him at the controls of a tank, he said the second weirdest thing was knowing he was blasting buildings his father had plastered.

The weirdest thing was most of the guys in his unit knowing that somewhere out there were their cousins in grey uniforms.

PTSD? Hell, more like an LSD trip.
 
Sal
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Had a girlfriend whose father was a German-American from Wisconsin, son of immigrants. His whole unit (12th Armored) was from Wisconsin. Half of 'em spoke German. He was a plasterer in Wisconsin. His father was a plasterer in Wurzburg. When his unit invaded Wurzburg, with him at the controls of a tank, he said the second weirdest thing was knowing he was blasting buildings his father had plastered.

The weirdest thing was most of the guys in his unit knowing that somewhere out there were their cousins in grey uniforms.

PTSD? Hell, more like an LSD trip.

it's almost incomprehensible to have families on both sides, not uncommon though

brain scramble
 
shadowshiv
+1
#30
And to add to the sadness of all this, is that it is just a matter of time before the murderer will be free to roam the streets again and decide (once again) to not take his meds as he "doesn't need them". I wonder what he'll do then?

As for the poor Mountie that witnessed the horrific act, I don't think he was weak at all (like he thought). How would any of us respond to seeing something as horrifying and shocking as that? Would any of us really ever be the same after that? May he rest in peace.
 

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