PTSD Resource Toolkit
First responders are at least twice as likely to suffer from PTSD. There’s no need to suffer in silence. The help you need is here. This website offers resources and services for the First Responder community to understand the various steps of a PTSD program from managing a crisis through to implementing best practices into an existing program.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by witnessing or experiencing actual or threatened death, serious injury or violence. Being affected by these types of events is normal, however if the thoughts or memories of these events start to seriously affect the life of the person long after the event, that person could be experiencing PTSD. Signs that someone may be experiencing PTSD include nightmares, uncontrollable memories, persistent fear and severe anxiety.
On April 5, 2016 Ontario passed legislation called the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act which amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. The amendment states that PTSD diagnosis in first responders is presumed to be work related. The diagnosis must be made by a psychiatrist or psychologist and be consistent with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). An amendment was also made to allow for the Minister of Labour to request and publish PTSD Prevention Plans from organizations covered under the presumption. This site is designed to help employers establish a PTSD Prevention Plan and Program. The PTSD Toolkit of resources is launched by the Public Services Health and Safety Association and serves as the leading Ontario resource for providing information on PTSD through existing channels tailored to the needs of each first responder sector. This site will include tools to help identify when a first responder might have a problem, where to seek help, best practices for employers and a source for ongoing news and events related to PTSD and mental wellness. Tools will be selected and made available for both employers and workers.
9-1-1 connects you directly to an operator who then connects your call to the emergency response centre serving your area.
Distress and Crisis Ontario connects you to distress and crisis centres across Ontario that offer support and services to their communities including 24 hour distress help lines and other services.
To get the most out of the resources available on this website take the following steps:
3. Receive and
4. Use your action plan
to get started on Your
PTSD Prevention Plan
PTSD Prevention Program Framework:
Explore and Learn about the Elements of the PTSD Prevention Program Framework
Below is a framework that takes a holistic approach to PTSD prevention and management within an organizations’ Occupational Health and Safety Management System. The model explores the elements of prevention, intervention and recovery and return to work across three stages of development: Just Getting Started, Taking Proactive Steps and Implementing Best Practices.
To start, this site is focused on Just Getting Started. At this stage of the journey the employer needs help understanding their legal requirements. There is a potential that the organization is dealing with a crisis, or they may simply need basic support. At this stage they may not be ready or able to make a significant investment in PTSD Prevention. The focus is on building awareness, reducing stigma, developing policies, defining roles & responsibilities.
Identify the Gaps in Your Organizational PTSD Prevention Plan
Plan and prioritize the steps to take in developing your Prevention Plan
The assessment below outlines key steps you should take when you are Just Getting Started on your PTSD Prevention Plan. Remember, to find out more information about Just Getting Started, you can simply explore the framework above.