Canadian emergency workers face a challenging job and mental health can often be affected as witnessed by recent headlines. Independent Canadian publisher Wintertickle Press is shedding light on not only the fallout from a person who takes their own life because their illness but also the path that can arise when one is able to find and get help while in a state of deep despair.
A Medic’s Mind is a memoir by Matthew Heneghan that was released October 15, 2019. This first-person account chronicles Heneghan’s life: from England to Canada, from boy to soldier, from soldier to paramedic and from mentally injured to seeing the possibility of purpose.
While serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, Heneghan was a pallbearer for the first Canadian medic to be killed in combat since the Korean War—Corporal Andrew Eykelenboom. After Heneghan’s sorrowful and honourable duties, he and his team were addressed by General Rick Hillier.
Although never deployed with Eykelenboom or his other fallen comrades, Heneghan did suffer from the sinister symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. Great loss, sanctuary trauma, and survivor’s guilt incubated his illness. After being honourably discharged, Heneghan entered the world of civilian paramedicine. This only served to layer on new and varied trauma onto his already injured psyche.
Heneghan masterfully tells his story of a tumultuous childhood, workplace trauma, loss of loved ones by suicide, suicide ideation and addiction. However, he was inspired to go even deeper into this incredibly personal story after Theo Fleury took notice of his blog through a Twitter post. Heneghan remarks, “I have always looked up to Theo. Not only was he a great hockey player, but I admire his courage for telling his story. He has inspired me to tell my own.”
EMS Magazine posts, “Heneghan is a master of description, a sort of Picasso with words. He paints a picture that includes all the senses, allowing readers to experience life as if they were him.” The Prairies Book Review states, “Heneghan writes with a disarming honestly . . . ”
A Medic’s Mind was released in Canada on October 15, 2019 and will be available through Amazon, Indigo/Chapters/Coles and most independent bookstores. Heneghan’s book launch will be at Chapters Vega in Mississauga, Ontario, on October 19.
To learn more about Matthew, please visit his site A Medic’s Mind.