Mental health isn’t black and white
Helping Canadian military veterans navigate the journey through integrated health and ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy
1. a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas.”the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard”
2. the foremost part of an advancing army or naval force.
Vanguard Wellness is dedicated to helping military veterans achieve mental and physical wellness through integrated therapies and ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy. With a team of Veteran Vanguards and healthcare professionals, we are able to offer a vast array of services to our clients, via a secure and remote platform.
Meet Trevor Bungay
Trevor served 17 years in the infantry completing an impressive 7 missions in Bosnia, Haiti & Africa, and 4 combat tours to Afghanistan. Trev formally retired from the military in 2014 with PTSD and after countless hardships struggling with the illness, he decided to take his health and recovery into his own hands. Trev started a successful real estate career, and he bought and sold Massage Experts franchise in the Fredericton, NB area. After a long battle, he overcame adversity and found healing in healing – helping fellow soldiers with PTSD and chronic pain find medical cannabis as co-founder and President of Trauma Healing Centers.
Trevor is ambitious and extremely focused. His investment in the military, and more specifically working with those suffering from PTSD, has led him to a position as co-founder and Vice President of Trauma Healing Centers Inc. Trauma Healing Centers is a multi-location cannabis clinic which assists veterans and first responders dealing with PTSD and chronic pain. Trev’s role within THC catered directly to his passion for helping those suffering from PTSD.
Over the last 2 years Trevor has devoted himself to researching psychedelics. He continuously investigates drugs safely with the help of medical professionals and natural healers. Trevor’s goal is to continue his fight against mental health and helping those who continue to struggle tread these new treatments safely.
Meet Bruno Guevremont
Bruno Guevremont inspires greatness on battlefields and in boardrooms, building high-performance leaders and organizations in every arena he enters. As a nationally known public speaker and consultant, Bruno continues to inspire and coach individuals and organizations to achieve greatness in the areas that matter most: business, personal finance, relationships, families, careers and well-being. Prior to this work, Bruno spent 15 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, serving two tours in Afghanistan. Upon returning home, he realized that his own mental health was deteriorating and in 2014, after being medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces, his search for a path to recovery began.
Later that year, he completed a challenging expedition in the North Pole with the True Patriot Love Foundation. The expedition (captured in the 2015 documentary, March To The Pole) was transformational, spawning Bruno’s personal quest to advance mental health awareness. Through his personal exploration of mental health, Bruno has found benefits from cannabis medicine and psychedelic therapy and continues his journey with Vanguard Wellness as both a patient and Veteran Vanguard on our team of mentors.
Meet Scott Atkinson
Scott Atkinson served 25 years in the Canadian Military – 8 years Reserve Force and 17 years Reg Force with 1 tour to Bosnia (Former Republic of Yugoslavia) and 2 tours to Afghanistan. Like so many others in the military, Scott suffered numerous injuries both physical and mental, resulting in severe and chronic conditions. Scott was prescribed opioids for the pain and used alcohol to ease the toll of everything else. By 2017 Scott recognized that he needed help, and with the support of his family and the motivation of being asked to participate in the Invictus games, Scott went to rehab to start the process of healing his injuries.
In February 2018, he was medically released from the military leading him to feel lonely, lost and confused, but not hopeless. By this point he was already immersing himself in the world of medical cannabis which was helping him treat his symptoms and connecting him with a community of like-minded military men and women doing the same.
Scott’s journey with cannabis has been extremely therapeutic and essential in managing his symptoms, but he remained curious about what could be done to get to the root of his emotional injuries. This is when he started exploring psychedelic treatments and the power, they hold in truly tackling the cause of persistent issues. Scott is a psychedelic advocate and has successfully undergone numerous psychedelic treatments. His journey is not over but it has already been a powerful one.
Meet Justin Yaassoub
Justin is a lifelong student of leadership who is fascinated with the notion of what makes people respond and react to other human ideas, suggestions, and commands. After graduating from MacEwan University with a B.A in Political Science, Justin worked as a Public Affairs Officer writing communication strategies and speeches for the Government of Alberta. He always had the urge to serve abroad as a Canadian Forces Soldier. In 2012, after a grueling ten-month course, Justin joined the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) as a Special Forces Operator. He deployed to multiple regions including North Africa, the Middle East and Caribbean.
Justin was awarded the Bravery Medal by the Governor General for his actions during an international operation. He was also awarded a Commanders and two Task Force Commanders Citations for his teamwork and leadership during his operations. Most recently, Justin was recognized by MacEwan University as a Distinguished Alumni. Since retiring from the military in 2018, Justin has explored cannabis use for medical purposes, and more recently Ketamine therapy. Justin feels that psychedelic therapies, particularly Ketamine, serve as a unique and powerful tool to re-examine past events and behaviours and to help understand them from a different perspective. With the Special Forces being a high performing organization, this therapy allowed Justin to remain high functioning, yet reduced the pressure and stressors that come with transitioning from military to civilian life.
Meet Chris Dupee
Chris is excited to join the Vanguard team as a consultant. After joining the Canadian Forces in 2005 with the 3rd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment, Chris was deployed with Para Company and Battalion Command to Afghanistan in 08/09. While serving, he founded the charity, Military Minds in 2012, which was set up to combat the stigma of PTSD and offer support for veterans all around the world. Chris built a support network of veterans from commonwealth countries to support one another through shared experience and local supports. In 2017 Chris, along with his wife Angel founded MYCADENCE – a mental health clinic for veterans and First Responders.
Along with his professional staff he is able to make an impact in ways he never thought possible. Chris is the Director of Military Programming at Greenestone Centre for Recovery and works closely with veterans and military personnel in their recovery. Chris always has his eye on what is helping his community. From Cannabis, talk therapy, equine therapy, recovery and treatment, and now psychedelics. He is a keen believer in recovery and that it comes in many different shapes and forms. What works for one may not work for another. His goal is to at least present the options and reassure everyone that they are not alone and that it can indeed get better.
Meet Dennis Leblanc
Dennis served 19 years in the infantry as an infantryman and infantry officer, completing missions in Bosnia, Haiti and two combat tours in Afghanistan. Dennis completed the University Training Program for Non-Commissioned members, completing his BA with honours in 2010. He returned to his former unit as a platoon commander. Dennis’s most memorable time in the military was having the honour of commanding the Security Force Platoon in Kabul in 2012. Dennis was the recipient of the Task Force Commanders Commendation for Leadership, and recipient of the “Mons Box”, which is awarded to the Platoon Commander of the year by The 2ndBattalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
Dennis was medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2015 due to mental health issues (PTSD) and various chronic physical injuries. After being released Dennis had a loss of identity and struggled to find purpose for himself. As a father of four children, Dennis wanted to be there for his family, but was struggling with being present. In 2016 Dennis was prescribed medical cannabis. After a two-year process, he successfully came off pharmaceuticals and found CBD to be the balance he needed. During this time Dennis had found his passion for aiding other Veterans. In 2016 Dennis was appointed to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Advisory Group for Service Excellence. That same year he was voted in as co-chair and continues his work in that role.
Since 2016, Dennis has dedicated himself to the betterment of Veterans and their families, as well as the pursuit of his own wellness journey. After taking part in the Ketamine treatment with Field Trip Health, he was immediately convinced of its profound benefits. “My focus and clarity is amazing, I can relax and actually listen to what is happening around me. I can finally live in the present” – Dennis Leblanc
Meet Sean Maher & Rob Kennedy
Sean joined the military in 1988 and was posted to locations across Canada as well Germany until being deployed to Bosnia in 1994. After returning home in 1995 Sean felt the challenges of returning to civilian life after the military and struggled with PTSD. Sean’s personal struggles inspired him to help other Veterans. Through many peer-support based endeavours; including OSISS peer support and cannabis advocacy, Sean has been able to help Veterans who are working through PTSD and other mental health injuries post-military.
Robert joined the military in 1988 and served for 28.5 years with the Royal Canadian Dragoons as well as the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit. He completed 5 tours, Cyprus, Somalia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan twice. Like so many others, Rob struggled with PTSD during his service and especially once retiring. Throughout his own treatment journey, Rob has been very active in the Veteran community by facilitating access to cannabis therapy and wide-spread advocacy for his peers.
Since meeting in Petawawa, Rob and Sean have been long-time friends with a shared desire to help other Veterans. Most recently, both Rob and Sean have undergone Ketamine therapy at Field Trip Health and believe the experience has been transformational. They are looking forward to helping prospective clients navigate this ground-breaking treatment!
We offer a wide range of services to fit your personal wellness needs.
Availability is based on your awarded or pensioned conditions.
With our trusted partners at Field Trip Health, we are able to help veterans access ketamine-enhanced psychotherapy.
Vanguard Wellness can assist with connecting you to our network of healthcare professionals to complete the necessary disability benefits assessment.
Our kinesiologists are committed to helping you alleviate pain symptoms and associated physical dysfunctions by incorporating strength, balance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility exercises into your treatment regime.
Facilitated by a social worker or psychologist, our virtual group therapy allows you to connect with others who may be on a similar journey to your own.
Mental Health Support
Our mental health professionals offer an array of services based in traditional “talk therapy”. Depending on your individual preferences and requirements we will connect you with a professional who best suits your needs.
Dietitians are qualified experts who specialize in the science of nutrition. They are able to assess, diagnose, and treat dietary and nutritional problems as well as develop personalized programs tailored to your individual objectives and personal needs.