Post-traumatic growth is more than recovering, it is about reconfiguration and becoming a better person than you were before the injury occurred. Daniel Sundahl (DanSun), an emergency services professional, is the second keynote speaker for the City of Lloydminster’s fifth-annual Bordering on Disaster conference.

Sundahl will detail his journey through post-traumatic stress disorder, which originated from the calls he attended as a paramedic and firefighter. Sundahl’s experiences nearly destroyed his life. Through his story, attendees will connect their own experiences. Sundahl will share what he did, and continues to do, to build resiliency and recover from his mental stresses.

Through his presentation and artwork, Sundahl will teach how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental stress injuries, techniques to build strength and understanding the concept of post-traumatic growth. Sundahl also shares the importance of realizing we are not alone in how we feel, and it is okay to not be okay. Ernie Polsom, manager of Emergency Management for the City of Lloydminster, thinks he’ll bring a conversation to the Border City that’s worth having.

“We’ve struggled forever talking about mental health issues,” says Polsom. “We have no problem discussing a broken arm or cut on our finger, but we have a real problem talking about the damage that occurs to our brains and emotions. Dan’s presentation really shines a light on that conversation, encouraging us all to communicate, to talk and to share.”

In addition to Sundahl, the conference will now feature two unique breakout sessions compared to the original three—to be announced later. Joe Day from the City of Humboldt is the first keynote speaker. Folsom believes the keynote speakers will share painful, but valuable memories and lessons.

“Although the keynote speakers will share personal stories of heartbreak and sorrow, we can learn through their experiences. While we can rarely forecast the specifics of an event, it’s always better to be prepared through shared learning opportunities like this.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting www.lloydminster.ca/BOD or by contacting the Sales and Sponsorship Coordinator at sales@lloydminster.ca. The conference is on Thursday, September 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stockade Convention Centre. Early bird tickets are available until August 8, for $80, with regular admission available following at $100 per ticket. Conference registration closes September 9.