Tamsyn Brennan


Compassionate Leadership Specialist, TEND

Tamsyn has over 10 years of experience working in social service and education settings including palliative care, pediatric oncology, child protection and welfare, public and private school settings and with Corrections Canada. She was the Director of Clinical Services at Chisholm Services for Children in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for five years.

Tamsyn holds a BA from the University of Waterloo, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto, and an Executive Masters in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University. She is currently completing her Ph. D at Dalhousie University, studying managerial models that encourage resiliency by reducing stress injuries in social workers. As part of the TEND team, she is a co-creator and facilitator of the Compassionate Leadership program.

Scott Jones


Superintendent, Edmonton Police Services

Scott has been a police officer for over 29 years and has worked in numerous areas including patrol, beats, recruit training, Professional Standards, Crisis Negotiation, Homicide, Child Protection, Human Resources, Major Crimes, and Social Policing.

He is currently the Superintendent in charge of Integrated Community Safety at Edmonton Police Services where he oversees Youth, Serious Crimes, and Offender Management Branches. Scott has practiced yoga for 10 years and became a yoga teacher about 2 years ago with a focus on trauma-informed practice and mindful breath work (and throws in some deliberate cold exposure just for fun).

At CARE4YOU 2022, Scott will be offering mindfulness and chair yoga as part of the Refuel sessions.

Prasanna Kariyawansa


Program Educator, Trauma Informed Care Team & Mental Health & Addictions Program, IWK

For the past six years, Prasanna has worked in the role of a program educator helping professionals at IWK Health and community partners to integrate the principles of Trauma Informed Care into their daily practice. What he enjoys most about his current role is the dedicated focus on both clients and care providers. He works collaboratively with the OHS&W, HR and Diversity & Inclusion teams to highlight the importance of psychological safety for the workforce in an effort to improve employee wellbeing and patient safety

His personal experiences as a first generation Canadian and private work in not-for-profit organizations influence his work. Prior to his current role, Prasanna worked in the IWK MHA Program as a Youth Care Worker supporting pediatric clients, their families, and care providers in various care areas. In his personal time Prasanna enjoys time with his family, practicing mindfulness and wilderness camping.

Laura Khoudari


Author of Lifting Heavy Things

Laura Khoudari is a pioneer in trauma-informed strength training, a speaker, and the author of Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time. She is passionate about giving people the tools they need to heal from trauma and cultivate mental health and wellness.

Her work has been widely recognized by the trauma and fitness community, and she has been featured on NPR, Buzzfeed, UpWorthy, Outside Online, Medium, Vice, and Nike.com. She has presented her work for Somatic Experiencing International, The Breathe Network, Reebok, Les Mills, schools and fitness studios in the US and Canada. She lives in New York City with her family and two cats.

Françoise Mathieu


M. Ed, RP
Trauma Specialist, Author, & Executive Director, TEND

Françoise is a sought-after speaker and educator in Canada, the U.S., and around the world. With over 25 years of work in the field of mental health, she brings with her extensive experience as a crisis counselor, and nearly a decade of working with Health Canada’s CFMAP (Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program).

Françoise co-founded TEND Academy with Dr. Patricia Fisher and divides her time between public speaking engagements and working with organizations looking to train their teams on topics such as burnout, empathic strain, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, high stress workplaces, self-care and provider wellness. She is the author of The Compassion Fatigue Workbook.

N Leger Sirtisky

(no pronouns preferred/they)

Professional Practice and Advocacy Consultant, Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Dr. N. Leger Siritsky is the Professional Practice and Advocacy Consultant at the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. With extensive experience working in community mental health, hospice and palliative care, health care leadership and community organizing, N completed their doctoral research in burnout and compassion fatigue.

N is also a board-certified interfaith chaplain and has worked with the American Red Cross after September 11th providing counseling at the family assistance center, ground zero and the morgue. For several years, N served as Vice President of KentuckyOne Health, a large hospital system where they oversaw, supported, and led their SafetyFirst initiatives to create a just culture for staff and reduce patient harm.

Sarah Stewart


Secondary Traumatic Stress Specialist, TEND

Sarah Stewart is a Registered Social Worker, holding a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria. She is a Certified Trainer of Transforming Compassion Fatigue and Mental Health First Aid Basic and Youth courses.

Sarah has developed trainings on trauma-informed practice, workplace mental health, team debriefing, and work-life balance for corporations, non-profit agencies, and small businesses. She is passionate about promoting a social justice-based approach to wellness and sustainability in helping professionals, de-stigmatizing mental health problems, and improving mental health-related accessibility.

Diana Tikasz


Resilience & Organizational Health Specialist, TEND

Diana has worked in the teaching and health care sector for over 30 years. Her helping work began as an early childhood educator, nurturing children and their families to reach their fullest potential. This work developed into a desire to do trauma-focused work.

Diana has worked in various hospital settings throughout Ontario and has sat on many community and provincial committees focused on violence against women and children. She has spearheaded educational initiatives including a dating violence awareness campaign, unfounded sexual assault case reviews, and frequently consults in hospital-based domestic violence research studies.

Currently, Diana provides consulting to organizations on the impacts of trauma-exposed work with a focus on integrating resilience practices and processes to better support staff throughout the organizational hierarchy.