Peer Support

At BTB we believe that Peer Support is a valuable resource in helping our police service members and their families. We are here to relate and support you in times of need.

Please reach out to initiate a 1:1 conversation with a trained peer supporter.

Connect with a Peer Supporter

This image shows a male police officer showing compassion and care for another male police officer.

Meet Our Peer Supporters

Melissa Elaschuk

Melissa recently retired from Toronto Police with 21 years of service. She has a passion for assisting first responders and has been an advocate in this field for 9 years. Having experienced trauma both personally and professionally, Melissa understands the dynamics involved in breaking down the long-standing stigma surrounding mental health. Melissa brings with her the benefit of various perspectives; former police officer, mother of four, and wife of a current officer and is thrilled to join the Peer Support Team at Toronto Beyond the Blue where she can provide compassion and support, to those who serve and their families.

Simon Toyne

Simon is a police officer who brings a breadth of experience having served 38 years combined in the British Military, British Police and currently with the Toronto Police Service. He was diagnosed in June of 2018 with CPTSD and has been actively suporting and advocating for others dealing with the same impacts. In addition to his volunteer role with TBTB, he runs The Bridge peer support group in Burlington, Ontario.

Allie Shaw

I have been a police spouse for almost 30 years; raising a family, managing a home, working, scheduling life around shift work, and caring for sick parents and relatives (and sadly losing too many along the way.) I know the value and importance of how a supportive community can be that relates to the challenges of front line work.

Peter Eckersall

I’ve been an officer with Toronto Police Service for over 21 years in both uniform and plainlothes capacities. Before starting my career as a police officer, I spent 4 years working as a paramedic. One of the most rewarding places I have worked is with the MCIT (Mobile Crisis Intervention Team), where I was partnered with a crisis nurse. MCIT responds to calls for people who are in crisis (suicide or any other type of mental health related call). As a TPA Steward for over 10 years I have first hand knowledge and experience (both professionally and personally) with issues around suicide, persons in crisis and SIU related matters. I look forward to being here as a TBTB peer supporter to anyone who needs it.

Daniel Martin

I have been a police officer for the past 25 years with the Toronto Police Service. The majority of my career has been in the specialized operational response realm of policing with the Emergency Task Force (ETF) and Emergency Management and Public Order (EMPO) in various roles and functions. I have also proudly dedicated 18 years to the Canadian Military (primarly in the Reserve) having served on the front line in Afghanistan. After my tour in Afghanistan I started a peer support group in Pickering to assist returning soldiers in dealing with the transition back to civilian life. Throughout my career I have been involved in numerous high risk incidents and know first hand the toll it takes on all who serve. I am passionate about this peer sppport group because sadly, we have lost too many of our own to suicide and I want to be part of the solution in ending the stigma surrounding mental health and operational stress injuries. If you need to talk, I will be here to listen to and support you.

Cheryl Lam

Cheryl joined the Toronto Beyond The Blue Peer Support Team as a fourth-year Toronto Police Service widow. Cheryl’s husband of 8 years died suddenly at home, a week after he had an on-duty incident that was later deemed not the causal factor of his death. Cheryl offers grief support for spousal loss.

Kristal Jones

Kristal Jones has been a TPS spouse for 12 years. She is a proud mother to a blended family of 3 children and is a strong advocate for women’s mental health. Kristal’s peer support journey began when she decided to share her story of childhood abuse. Kristal’s story and vulnerability catapulted her passion as a helper. Kristal holds a degree in Forensic Psychology and a diploma in Police Foundations. As a person who lives with C-PTSD, she understands the nuances the injury brings to life and how isolating it can feel. Kristal understands the unique challenges one can face when they are part of a blue family.

Jasvir Sanghera

Jasvir Sanghera was born and raised in the United Kingdom. She graduated from University of Toronto in Sociology/Psychology. She has been a police officer for over 18 years. Her awareness of Mental Health was part of her upbringing having grown up with siblings who became psychologists. This helped Jasvir navigate challenging units in her career such as Domestic Violence, Homicide, and was part of the team that responded to Mental Health calls with a trained Mental Health Nurse. Jasvir is a mother who understands the balancing act of being a single parent in a police world. She is a personal trainer which helps her balance life and work commitments. She is currently working on her nutrition designation. Her resilience in navigating life, policing, and family makes her a valuable asset to the team. We can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves first.

Roxanna Chruko

Roxanna joined law enforcement in 2019 after a previous 20 year career utilizing her university degree and certifications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, a diploma in Holistic Nutrition, and is also a Clinical Exercise Physiologist. She loves helping people with their health and wellness goals. From counselling others in stress management, fitness goals, shiftwork/ life balance, and nutrition for optimal living, she brings a depth of knowledge to share with others to help them live optimally. Roxanna has lived experiences that have challenged her to seek help herself and find the resiliency to get through them. Having support from others has inspired her to pay it forward and help those in need. She believes that your lived traumas do not define you and you can survive and thrive in life. Her own personal experiences has lead her to taking additional courses in mental health, seek allopathic and alternative health practitioners, build coping strategies when stressors arise, and increase her emotional intelligence; all to help improve her resilience and passion to live a healthy and optimal lifestyle.

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