First Responders

Building Resilience in Frontline Staff, First Responders “Melanie did a superb job with this presentation. I was impacted by the effect PTSD can have on some people. I’ll definitely be more watchful for symptoms.”
Chubby Kelly, Firefighter Captain, Lyn, ON

“Excellent presentation, it was amazing and so worthwhile! Totally on point with what we do and who are we are! I’ve heard many seminars on the topic but no one expanded and communicated it like you did. Needs to be offered to First Responders everywhere! Everything delivered was phenomenal! You come across like you genuinely care, and that was a gift. Melanie actually got through to us and opened us up to see our own condition! The most impactful part of your presentation was the speaker relatability, humanness, honesty in sharing her experiences. The importance of the self-care strategies will be really applicable and the need to start talking, debriefing, and better supporting one another got through. Thanks for the reminder that what we do and who we are always matters, even in the smallest things. The humility with which you integrated your personal experiences penetrated deep within each one of us.”
Reviews from SD&G Paramedic Services, Cornwall, ON

“The entire presentation was perfect. Reminded of the importance of communication. Please keep your message going… its REAL!”
Darcy Provost, Deputy Fire Chief, Russell, ON

“Your seminar was humanity based versus clinically based. Current administrators are trying to tackle the problem using administrative tools. This re-enforces stigma and isolation. Your presentation sidesteps that trap and concentrates on the human suffering, followed by understanding, acceptance and finally gratitude. You shared one of the missing pieces of the PTSD puzzle. Brava! Your presentation was worthwhile, inspiring and your speaking was well done considering the sensitive topic. Lastly, thank you for sharing. While you do make statements with the intent of making a point relevant to us, it is quite clear that your pain is very close to the surface and this seminar is cathartic. This is NOT a criticism. In fact, I am envious of you. I am envious of your humanity. Thank you for reminding me of what that looks like.”
Retired Police Officer, Ongoing PTSD Survivor, Cornwall, ON

“Thank you, Melanie, for a great presentation. Your message is powerful, and you get to the point about what first responders are dealing with on a regular basis. Your real-life experiences hit a chord with the group that was gathered for the presentation. Your message to first responders to take off the Superman cape and talk with your loved ones if something is bothering you is great advice. Now is definitely time to help the people who help others. Thanks for sharing your lived experiences.”
Dave Michaud - Staff Sergeant, Cornwall Community Police Services, Cornwall, ON

“The most impactful part of your presentation was your life experiences. Everything you shared applies to what we deal with in the law enforcement profession. Very good presentation with relevant examples.”
Ranatiiostha Swamp - Staff Sergeant, Akwesasne Police Services, QC

Helping Professionals

Helping Professionals Workshop “Your honest perspectives shared were most impactful, difficult to hear, but insightful from the other lens. You indirectly challenged us to ask ourselves difficult questions. Everything you said was applicable and informative so thank you for being so open! Appreciated hearing that there is hope of recovery from PTSD from a lived perspective. I need to learn to take care of myself as much as I care for others. I realized I need to utilize my supports rather than internalizing. Overall amazing presentation! The lessons and reminders are vitally needed!”
Reviews from Building Resilience in Front-line Staff: Sarnia, ON

“The most applicable piece will be your leadership strategies as I deal with colleagues. I was touched by the rawness and truth of a life changed. Leaving empowered knowing I can make a difference. I was most impacted by Melanie’s story and her ability to thrive and move forward. The lessons shared were highly applicable. I’ve been struggling realizing that I need to take better care of myself in order to be the be a good and more effective social worker, wife, friend and daughter. Thank you so much, this was truly amazing!!”
Reviews from OMSSA Mental Health Conference, Toronto, ON

“The most impactful part of the presentation was the speaker’s personal experiences and her connection with the crowd. She touched on some pretty deep stuff. The most applicable lessons were my new found understanding of burnout and compassion fatigue.”
Denis: Case Manager, SD&G Counselling Services, Cornwall, ON

“Wow! This seminar really exceeded my expectations! I really enjoyed your presentation and greatly appreciated the honesty and powerful message! Your seminar made way for much stirring and self-reflection in a good and much needed way! It’s refreshing to hear a presenter use “real life” examples to validate and bring home the lessons. You helped me be more conscientious of my reactions towards my clients and what they are going through. You helped me realize that to be resilient professionally I need to be resilient and healthy personally. You taught us to never give up, no matter what life throws at us.”
Reviews from: Prescott Russell Social Services, l’Orignal, ON

“Melanie is a truly compelling speaker! She has an ability to make us question, think, and reflect deeply into our own lives and want to make the necessary changes to make the world a better place. She has such an impact on us as her audience. She’s honest, direct and doesn’t beat around the bush!”
Dr. Suzanne Filion: Psychologist, Alexandria, ON

“Everyone needs to hear your message! You brought the information to life. From the bottom of our hearts, the level of gratitude we had on how you were able to implement your real-life story into your content. In the last couple of days, we lived many emotions and seen things from people we’ve never seen before and that’s because you were able to draw it out of us. You are real and raw and we love that about you. This session was relevant, uplifting, informative, useful and impactful all at once.”
Reviews from: Akwesasne Child and Family Services, Akwesasne, QC


Corporate Team Building “Melanie Willard was excellent! Best message ever!!” Very informative leadership skills! I loved the presentation, as it brought me so many applicable and positive tools! I am leaving on a cloud looking forward to impact my workplace for the better!”
Reviews from: GIAG Employers Breakfast Glengarry, ON

“Melanie was our keynote speaker at a local Glengarry Business Breakfast. Managers and business owners listened with rapt attention as melanie talked about leadership and workplace culture. The reviews showed that employers had learned the why and how of making employees feel valued and appreciated very much adding to their leadership skills. She also spoke to our employment counsellors at a staff retreat. They found the session to be engaging, thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of our clients while helping each of us to protect our personal “heart” and energy levels. It was interactive and fun with lots of laughter as well as moments of reflection and realization. We are so fortunate to have a great conference leader right here in Alexandria like Melanie!”
Susan David, Manager, Glengarry Inter-Agency Group, Alexandria, ON

“Melanie’s seminar on leadership was so inspiring and motivational! She’s a dynamic speaker who definitely knows how to capture her audience and I strongly recommend that you bring her in to your organization!”
Chantal Montpetit - Internal Auditor, Ottawa, ON

“I’ve had the opportunity to hear Melanie speak twice and I was utterly inspired both times! Her presentation on leadership motivated me not only for a day but brought lasting change within me and as a result in my performance at work. I know your organization would highly benefit from her conferences and as a result experience positive changes within your culture! She is contagious! You have to hire this girl! She is so worth it and worth the investment!”
Josee Menard Levert - Business Account Manager, RBC, Alexandria, ON

“Twice a year, the Ministry of Natural Resources Finance and Procurement department gathers all of their employees for a Town Hall meeting. Melanie was our guest speaker and delivered a great message on leadership in the workplace. The bilingual presentation was on cue, very professional and really well received!”
Anik Samson, Administrative Officer, Natural Resources Canada