National Mental Health Service Provider

Surviving Family Program

The Surviving Family Program is designed to assist immediate family members who have lost their service member loved one in the line of duty or to suicide.

The Surviving Family Program (SFP) is a five-day, clinically facilitated group program that assists immediate family members who have lost their service member loved one in the line of duty or to suicide. It draws on leading traumatic grief research and provides an opportunity for survivors to explore the wounds resulting from traumatic loss. It guides them to recognize the function of emotions so they can understand and process the traumatic grief, which allows them to integrate and make meaning of the relationship they had with their family member and their life now without their family member. This program teaches and strengthens regulation and resourcing skills.

The group-based delivery builds participant capacity to provide the clinically indicated giving and receiving of support with therapeutic assistance and feedback, thus, reducing isolation and facilitating connection with others who have lived through traumatic loss. The SFP culminates with participants identifying and claiming future-focused needs and goals which promote renewal and hope. All participants receive a 2-week post-program clinician follow-up to support integrating new skills.



As a clinical psychologist, Claudine Barrette has extensive experience with victims of trauma and has a particular interest in best practices with regards to crisis intervention. She works with children and adults, both individually and in groups. She has vast experience with members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. Her experience also includes 12 years as part of a crisis unit working with various stakeholders for emergency services such as police, paramedics and firemen. A two-year stay in India, combined with other work experiences in sub-Saharan Africa have given her the ability to work in difficult and complex situations and a strong understanding of the difficulties faced by those returning home from intense and sometimes traumatic environments.


Carolynn Turner, MA, RCC has spent almost 20 years supporting individuals and families who are struggling. She is currently the Founder and Director of Lavender Counselling & Wellness in Langley, a clinician for the COPE and TRP programs (supporting veteran and first responders to build resiliency to the effects of PTSD), Regional Chair for the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, and she regularly speaks as part of the BCTF Wellness Team. She has been an invited speaking guest at many schools, school districts and conferences around the province.


Angela is a sensitive and intuitive soul with a strong desire to assist people that manifested itself in her becoming a 911 communicator/dispatcher.

On the evening of June 4th, 2014, she was impacted in the most traumatic way when her husband, an RCMP officer, was murdered on duty along with two of their colleagues and friends.  This personal and professional loss led to a post traumatic stress injury. The more Angela has learned about trauma through her own experience, from peers and health professionals, the more she realizes it has shaped who she is in so many ways. She has developed a heightened awareness of her experiences and the experiences of others and this awareness has aided in her ability to communicate with and assist others dealing with stress injuries.

Knowing how difficult it can be and possessing a strong desire to understand this injury for herself, has also driven her to be a tireless advocate for other first responders with injuries, for surviving families and to advocate for the health and safety of those who serve our communities. To that end she was able to contribute to the development of the Wounded Warriors Canada Surviving Spouses’ Program and has been a keynote speaker at various conferences and fund raising events that support those suffering from traumatic stress injuries.


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