Dan Sundahl – Post Traumatic Growth

Session Recording

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Session Description

Post-traumatic growth is more than recovering, it is about reconfiguration and becoming a better person than you were before the injury occurred.  My journey from battling my demons to purging my nightmares in artwork is shared through images based on calls I have attended as a paramedic and firefighter.  I will share how my job nearly destroyed my life and, although this is my story, you may connect with them through your own experiences and realize you are not alone in how you are feeling.   More importantly, I will share what I did, and continue to do, to build resiliency and recover from my mental stresses.  If I can do it, so can you. 

As DanSun Photo Art, my images are shared worldwide by hundreds of thousands of my peers.  Learn the motivation behind my artwork and how the images have been therapeutic for so many of us.


Speaker Biography

Daniel Sundahl (DanSun) is a published artist and writer and has three (3) art books produced of his works. Articles of his work are featured in Canadian Paramedicine, Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS), Fire Rescue Magazine, EMS One, EMS World Magazine and The Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing. His art is recognized worldwide, and he travels internationally speaking on his art and personal experiences with occupational stress injuries and post-traumatic growth. Daniel is the president and founder of the Peer Recovery and Resiliency Society, a group that supports emergency workers from around the world and aids in their post traumatic growth. He is an advanced care paramedic, firefighter, pre-hospital educator, photographer and photo editor.

Daniel was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Taking up a global residency as an English language teacher in Egypt, Mexico, Indonesia and Japan, he is now a firefighter and advanced care paramedic for the City of Leduc.

His love of photography began on his travels, and as his technique developed, he started to produce a blend of photography and graphic art, which he calls Photo Art.

The majority of Daniel’s work involves emergency services photography. It comprises an emotional connection to the artist as most of his pieces are based on actual emergency calls, he has attended as a paramedic and firefighter. He is passionate about reducing the stigma of PTSD for first responders, and he uses his art to raise awareness of occupational stress injuries worldwide.

Daniel enjoys combining the technical and artistic elements of his work. Each piece can take several days or weeks of processing until he feels it is ready.

Most recently, after visiting his peers in Australia, Finland and Mississippi, they have each started a mental wellness initiative for First Responders. Daniel continues to travel often and gains inspiration for his art from his experiences.


February 17, 2023

Mainstage Keynote

45 minutes 
Plus Q & A


Daniel Sundahl