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Living and Coping with PTSD

Scott Magnus offers no easy solutions in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, but he does have a crucial message to convey.

Help is available.

Retired RCMP officer Scott Magnus Photo credit: 17 Wing Imaging

A retired RCMP officer with 25 years of service, Mr. Magnus, who left the force in 2019 after being diagnosed with PTSD, was the special guest speaker for Bell Let’s Talk Day in the theatre of Building 90 (Sports and Recreation Centre) on January 25.

The morning event, which attracted about 50 military and civilian personnel, was sponsored by PSP Health Promotion.

Mr. Magnus has had experiences with joint operations with various agencies, including, among others, CAF Op, CSIS, MB-CAN Intelligence Groups, the City of Winnipeg Police Green Team.

Sergeant Michael Plummer, a trumpet player in the RCAF Band, described the talk as engaging. “The speaker was very vulnerable and open, which is important for talks like this,” he said in the lobby afterwards. “To not be vulnerable, and then have other people be vulnerable doesn’t work. I really appreciate that he opened up to the point of tears. What that does is it allows us to look introspectively and say, ‘Hey, maybe I’m struggling with the same thing.’ Or, maybe he’s talking about something that I haven’t talked about.”

Diane Brine, Manager of Health Promotion, had similar sentiments. “It took courage for people to open up (during the question period),” she said. “It also took courage for Scott to share (his story),” she observed. “I was just amazed at the amount of courage.”

Mr. Magnus said it is difficult to pinpoint any one incident or scenario that may have contributed to his PTSD. “I do know that there was one significant incident that has surfaced from time to time that I deal with when it arises,” said the thickly bearded native of Winnipeg in an interview following his talk. He added that he hoped audience members would just allow themselves to realize “that it’s okay to not be okay.” “There are resources out there for us if we’re not feeling one hundred percent to recognize when we’re not okay,” Mr. Magnus said. “It’s okay to reach out and there are lots of hands out there to help you. My main therapy for myself is a good heavy workout, along with cognitive therapy, which I’ve been fortunate to have access to through Veteran’s Affairs Operational Stress Injury Clinic at Deer Lodge Centre.”

Mr. Magnus also confessed that he has one-on-one sessions with psychologists and psychiatrists. “I have been on medication, which has also been beneficial,” he added. “It’s learning to be mindful and to use the tools that are available through OSI and through my own one-on-one experiences.”

He also added that it was a privilege to have been with the community at 17 Wing. “It’s humbling,” he said. “The gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made here are immeasurable. I’m very appreciative, and I hope that some little piece of what I shared will be helpful to somebody down the road.”

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