Our team

About Us

First Response Mental Health is a Canadian company, headquartered in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Our company was founded by individuals who worked closely with first responder organizations to understand the intricacies and subtleties of the mental health landscape, the stressors that first responders are exposed to, and the support systems in place to protect and support them.

Our App, PeerConnect is the result of years of co-development and research with these front line first responders, health professionals, professionals in high-stress occupations, and researchers in the fields of psychology and social work. PeerConnect has been field tested, and incorporates real-life learning and evidence-based feedback from users, supervisors, administrators and researchers.

Kevin Kuchta

Director

Kevin has managed development on critical organizational systems from health and safety systems, KPI systems, railway control systems, and medical record management. 

Kevin is driven to utilize his skills and experience to focus efforts on building mental health systems and processes. His goal is to assist organizations in applying measurable processes to support their members’ mental health. His belief is that when organizations utilize proactive strategies with their mental health resources, they will not only increase the overall wellbeing of their members, they will also increase their organization’s bottom line.

Nik Fiorito

Lead Strategist

Nik has been developing and managing projects in the software and tech industry since 2012. His role as Project Lead involves managing research and development, client relations, training, and marketing. Nik led the design for the initial development of PeerConnect, working with Superior North EMS refining the system to meet the unique requirements of a modern peer support/wellness program.

Nik is a busy man with a lot on his plate, including a family of eight, but he knows FRMH is doing important work to ensure those who encounter intense and stressful situations don’t have to face them alone.

gregHill

Greg Hill

Technical Lead

Greg has designed numerous enterprise systems, including real-time control systems for trains and transit systems. Later with Aeroquest, he designed navigation systems for helicopters involved in geological surveying. Most recently, Greg is the Technical Lead in the development of First Response Mental Health’s PeerConnect peer support management system.

Eric Tribe

Partner

Eric has a proven track record of taking innovative solutions from concept, to robust scalable production. He has directed technical projects and transitioned teams with only a handful of employees, to hundreds. Eric recently joined the First Response Mental Health team, and has been a key player in expanding our mental health solutions across different industries.

Greg Davis

Greg Davis

Brand Development, Account Manager

Greg has been in the branding industry since 2009 and has a keen eye for design and UX for front end users. He recently joined the FRMH team to help create educational materials and has expanded his duties to include app deployment, training, and account management.

Kaiya Ham

Account Manager

Kaiya assists in the management, sales, strategies, research, and development at First Response Mental Health. She focuses on improving mental health for organizations, individuals, and communities by driving digital transformation. She is also a Project Lead for a new FRMH tool called BRIDGES, which helps individuals to engage with their natural supports. 

Advisory Board

Dr. Joann Vis

Training Development, Professor at Lakehead University

An experienced clinical consultant and associate professor within the School of Social work. Research areas of focus include:
• Trauma and Mental Health
• Qualitative Research
• Organizational Health and Research
• Social Work Counselling Skills
• Family Therapy

Dr. Vivien Lee

Psychologist and founder of the Centre for Trauma Recovery & Growth in Toronto

Dr. Lee specializes in trauma, PTSD, depression, and anxiety and has extensive experience working with and training first responders (e.g., police, paramedics, firefighters, corrections, dispatchers) and military. She is proud to be a clinician for Wounded Warriors Canada’s Trauma Resiliency Program (TRP) and Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday (COPE). Particular interests for Dr. Lee also include optimizing peer support and family support.

Brian Dunn Phd.

Indigenous Culture Liaison, PhD in Comparative Theology, MSt in Religious Studies, Oxford University,

Dr. Dunn is a teacher by vocation with experience and training in both Religious Studies and Theology who has lived and worked internationally in India, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia. Dr. Dunn’s primary interests are in comparative traditions, North American Indigenous culture, South Asian religion, Hindu Bhakti, early Pali tradition Buddhism, Indian Christian theology, and World Christianity.

Kristen-Weppler

Kristen Weppler

Fire Fighter & Peer Support Lead, West Grey Fire

Known for her leadership in mental wellness, her recent accomplishments include developing county wide peer support and educating first responders and their families. In addition to over 10 years experience in mental health, Kristen knows first hand how mental health can impact lives and affect a community. In 2016 after a complicated diagnosis and misdiagnosis process Kristen’s oldest daughter died in a tragic accident that was directly related to her mental health. Despite her professional experience it was nearly impossible to find help and care for her daughter. This incident among other losses in her professional community gives Kristen a unique passion for mental wellness support for her immediate team, and as a champion in the greater first responder community. 

Michelle Probizanski

Superintendent of Education, Education & Youth Advisor

Michelle is a graduate of Lakehead University and earned a Master of Education: Curriculum Studies at the University of Toronto in 2004. She has been an education administrator for 15 years and was formerly the Principal of Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute. She now serves as the Superintendent of the Lakehead Public School Board.

Eamon Wilson

Clinical Psychologist at Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority

Eamon provides evaluations for Developmental Services at Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. Living in the north, Eamon is acutely aware of the challenges and successes of its people. He understands the unique situations that people in rural and isolated settings face, and is a strong proponent of responsible, well-trained peer support teams.

Christopher Egan

AI Global Business Development

Creative, perceptive, and innovative business developer with the entrepreneurial spirit and wisdom to convert vision to fruition. Successful track record in leading domestic and global projects to prosperous and sustainable outcomes in various economic and political climates. Leads through an authentic and collaborative teambuilding approach that infuses a culture of trust, inclusion, diversity, empowerment, and community. Driven by values, curiosity, and desire to learn.

Cathy Woodbeck

Executive Director at Thunder Bay Multicultural Association

Cathy Woodbeck is an active community champion, spending 25 years in the Immigrant Settlement and Language Sector. Cathy provides mentorship and training to agencies and organizations on issues of settlement, language, diversity, building welcoming communities and working effectively with interpreters. She has experience in community programming for domestic violence, victims of torture and trauma and newcomer mental health. She is a graduate of Lakehead University (M.A. 1994), and a former municipal councilor.

Kendra Fisher

Motivational Speaker, Firefighter, and Mental Health Consultant

Kendra is passionate about suicide prevention and sharing her inspiring personal journey to recovery. She achieved great success in hockey and was faced with the opportunity to goaltend for Team Canada, however, mental illness prevented her from pursuing this dream. Navigating this experience gave Kendra a unique perspective on mental health, and a passion to share her story as a beacon of hope for others experiencing mental health problems. Kendra is known for her authenticity, vulnerability, determination to inspire hope and her many community outreach initiatives. 

Scott Earl Smith

Inspector - Community Services Branch Commander, Thunder Bay Police Service

Scott has over 30 years of service with a vast array of assignments and experience including Emergency Task Unit (SWAT) supervisor, Detective (Major Case Manager), and Incident Commander (high risk incidents).

Marcel Gagnon

Financial Advisor, CPA, CA

Marcel is a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP. He draws on more than 35 years of experience to deliver comprehensive assurance and accounting solutions and strategic business advice to clients, with a focus on helping them achieve their goals.

Commit to Connect

Email us at info@firstresponsemh.com and one of our team contact you within 24 hours.

What leaders are saying

We’ve been searching for a program that would help us more easily connect our firefighters to their peer support teams, both internally and across our partner agencies. There is nothing we have found that provides the features and value that PeerConnect offers, and we are excited about the possibilities this app has opened for us in offering more support to our membership and communities.

Kristen Weppler
Peer Support and Wellness Coordinator
Ontario-based Fire Service

PeerConnect is the only program I have seen that will increase access to care and reduce the time and resources spent coordinating our Peer Support teams.

Dr. Heather Rose-Carlson

Clinical Psychologist
Police Department Peer Support Director

As a clinical researcher and trainer in the mental health space, I appreciate the importance and sustainability of First Response Mental Health's program. Organizations who use the system and participate in the training will see an increase in helpful interactions and communication among their team members, leading to healthier and more supportive workplaces.

Jo-Ann Vis
Professor of Social Work
Lakehead University

First Response Mental Health has developed a revolutionary solution to helping improve employee mental health. Any organization with more than a handful of people should consider PeerConnect for improving company culture.

Brian Dunn Phd.
Oxford University

PeerConnect not only helps our school system, but our entire community of family members and support staff. We’re excited to be implementing this product at Matawa.

Brad Battiston
Matawa First Nations Learning Centre

PeerConnect not only helps our school system, but our entire community of family members and support staff. We’re excited to be implementing this product at Matawa.

Brad Battiston
Matawa First Nations Learning Centre

Location

585 Squier St,
Thunder Bay, ON
Canada
P7B 4A7

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Contact

(807)251-9754

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