New Research Findings on Risks of Occupational Stress Injury Among Canadian First Responders and Frontline Healthcare Workers

Public Services Health & Safety Association partnered with The Conference Board of Canada to create the Occupational Stress Injury Resiliency (OSIR) Index screening tool, a tool to assess occupational stress injury risks among first responders.

In 2020, 620 individuals in Canada completed the OSIR Index screening tool.

This briefing presents the development of the screening tool, the methodology used, and the research findings.

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Invictus Canada Team Captain Overcame PTSD

The former master corporal served in several Canadian Forces regiments, including the Royal Canadian Dragoons, for over 16 years. She did a tour in Bosnia and two in Afghanistan — the last of which saw her witness the deaths of two comrades.
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We're not Superman: RCMP Cpl. Trevor O'Keefe mourned following sudden death

The policing community in Newfoundland and Labrador has been rocked by the sudden loss of RCMP Cpl. Trevor O’Keefe, a highly regarded and experienced Mountie who became known throughout the province in recent years after taking on the media relations role.
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Researchers find significantly higher rate of mental disorders among first responders

Results from Canada’s first national survey looking at operational stress injuries among first responders such as police, paramedics, firefighters and 911 operators suggest they are much more likely to develop a mental disorder than the general population.
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RCMP plan to launch study on operational stress, PTSD in Mounties

Canada’s national police force is looking to launch a study into the mental and physiological markers for depression, addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in its officers.

Police officer and ‘strongest man’ to haul NYPD vehicles to support cops with mental health struggles

He’s one of the strongest cops in the world, but he’s struggled with suicidal thoughts.
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Mental health first aid course for 'everyone'

Prince Edward Islanders are being offered Mental Health First Aid Canada’s course by St. John Ambulance for the first time next month.

Playing Tetris Can Reduce PTSD Symptoms, Study Says

Playing the computer game Tetris can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from developing in some individuals after they suffer a traumatic event, according to a new study.

RCMP officer with PTSD hopes to help service dog organization

A dozen years after the fatal shooting of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, one officer is still feeling the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

New police unit focus is officer well-being, PTSD

Waterloo Regional Police have created a wellness unit to ensure the service’s members — officers and civilians — put their psychological well-being first.

Can Yoga Help Treat PTSD?

The U.S. military is beginning to embrace yoga as a means of treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stephanie Lopez, a therapist and meditation trainer, explained at the Global Brain Health and Performance Summit presented by The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center’s Ross Center for Brain Health and Performance.

Imaging reveals how well PTSD patients will respond to psychotherapy, researchers find

A pair of studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrates that scientists can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder will respond to a method of psychotherapy often used to treat the condition.

Running for PTSD #helpingheroes

This year’s 17th Annual Blackfly Run is a special one. Not only because it is the 17th run, on the 17th day of June, in 2017… no it is very special this year, because one of our Wawa Volunteer Firefighters is donning his bunker gear about fifty pounds worth, and running a 10km marathon #helpingheroes; although he does admit that heat will play a role.

Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of how signs and symptoms of mental health conditions may present themselves differently in men, and to normalize conversations about mental health issues to reduce the stigma that often prevents men from seeking help.

Men, It’s Okay To Reach Out For Help If You’re Suffering From Depression

They say no man is an island, but when it comes to mental health issues many find themselves in an ocean of their own thoughts, feeling both isolated and unable to reach out for help.

Living with PTSD: a soldier’s story

It was almost eight years ago that retired corporal Joseph Rustenburg took all the sleeping pills and medication he could get his hands on, drove to a farmer’s field and laid down, hoping for the end.
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First responders call for national strategy to tackle PTSD crisis

From Hollywood blockbusters to front-page stories, the image of the tormented veteran unable to transition from war zone to home front is everywhere.

Ontario paramedic service guarding against PTSD

As the mental health of first responders becomes an increasingly important issue, an Ontario paramedic service is looking to those within its own ranks to protect the well-being of its members.

First responders call for national strategy to tackle PTSD crisis

A national strategy should include increased funding for psychological care and workers comp’  for first responders.
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Psychiatrist says PTSD treatment for Mounties improving, but not fast enough

‘PTSD is going to be quite widespread within the RCMP and other first-responder organizations’

Help for RCMP officers who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder is improving, but Mark Johnston is urging the force to move more quickly to implement its 2014 mental health strategy.

Deadly day in Middlesex; First responders will be offered counselling for possible PTSD, OPP say

Emergency workers — including police, paramedics and firefighters — are twice as likely to get post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as anybody else, according to the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, a Toronto-based charity. In recent years, awareness has grown about the mental and emotional toll tragedies can take on rescue workers. This year, Ontario dedicated money and resources to help prevent and reduce PTSD in first responders.

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First Responders Trauma Prevention and Recovery Program is the first of its kind in the world.

Few deal with tragedy and trauma as frequently as first responders. As a result, the incidence of mental illness among emergency personnel is four times the national average in Canada, To help solved this problem Simon Fraser University is launching a new program to help first responders deal with mental health issues.

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Partners’ involvement linked to efficacy of PTSD treatment

A growing body of research shows treating post-traumatic stress is more effective for patients in committed relationships when their partners are deeply involved in the care – the opposite of the usual experience in 22 soldier and veteran suicides examined by The Globe and Mail.

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Creating a new standard to help paramedics in need

The Ontario government announced it will invest almost $200,000 to help create a new workplace health and safety standard specific to paramedics. The announcement was made at the Beaver Barraks Paramedic Station on Aug. 10.

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Ontario adds funding to develop mental health standards for paramedics

The Ontario government will direct nearly $200,000 to a program developing a psychological health and wellness standard for paramedics across Canada.

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Getting ahead of PTSD in Sudbury

When a dear colleague goes down with a traumatic stress injury, the whole squad suffers. And sadly, those instances of trouble are too common and PTSD has become a familiar acronym for those working as paramedics, police and firefighters.

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Humber College School of Health Sciences Is Proud To Offer MANERS Psychological First Aid program In Partnership with Tema Trust

Humber College School of Health Sciences has partnered with Toronto-based charity the Tema Conter Memorial Trust to offer MANERS Psychological First Aid. MANERS is an innovative two-day workshop designed for anyone that deals with trauma or crises.

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More boards presuming PTSD caused by work – Canadian Occupational Safety

On April 5, Ontario changed its workers’ compensation system to presume that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is work-related for individuals in specific occupations. Those occupations include first responders, such as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and emergency medical attendants, as well as certain workers in correctional institutions and secure youth justice facilities. Ontario joins Alberta whose legislation contains a similar presumption and Manitoba whose legislation came into effect Jan.1 but is not limited to a specific occupation. On April 1, New Brunswick’s labour minister introduced a similar bill in the legislature signalling that it will likely move in the same direction.


Mental Health Commission of Canada Webinars for First Responders: Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Mental Health Commission of Canada Webinars for First Responders: Suicide Awareness and Prevention is the first webinar in a series of free webinars related to Mental Health for First Responders.

Join to learn about innovative and effective approaches to suicide prevention.  The guest speaker will provide an overview of the trends and evidence around suicide and first responders. You will get to learn about how education, awareness and training can help increase help-seeking behaviours and build suicide prevention capacity within first responder organizations and the larger community.

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Sun Life Financial launches digital assessment for workplace mental health risks

Innovative program could help almost 60 per cent of Canadian workplaces without a mental health strategy

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Inside Ottawa Valley - PTSD strategy to aid Carleton Place firefighters

The Ocean Wave Fire Company (OWFC) in Carleton Place is putting in place a plan to help prevent or lessen the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among its firefighters.

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Police Psychology - Mass Casualties

By Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

Information on the effects that tragedies such as the recent Orlando night club shooting can have on first responders and what can be done as a police leader or psychologist to help the situation.

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PTSD in first responders focus of July event

The public awareness event, which is put on by the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, will be held in Brantford on Saturday, July 18 at 7 p.m. in The Salvation Army Church, 33 Diana Ave. Brant paramedic Stefanie Miller will be just one of the locals joining in the panel discussion open to everyone.

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Notice of Direction Made Pursuant to Subsection 9.1(1) of the Ministry of Labour Act

Employers are to provide information on their workplace posttraumatic stress disorder prevention plans no later than April 23, 2017, one year from the date of the posting of this notice.

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Police Psychology - Too Much Ugly

By Robin Kroll, PsyD ABPP

Officers spend their careers serving and protecting their communities. As first responders, they make sacrifices that the civilian world may never understand. Forfeiting emotions to be productive on the job is one of the prime sacrifices. It is also the most misunderstood. While withholding feelings is a coping mechanism on the job, it is not a healthy strategy off the job.

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Police Psychology: Police Divorce Part 2 – Hate to Admit

By Gary Aumiller, Ph.D.

As the rest of the regular world, most officers going through a divorce can think of nothing else in that time. They find they have a hard time concentrating and they lose focus easily. Their emotions are on edge, and deep sleep is a sporadic visitor in their life. And it doesn’t have to be that way. This is part 2 of the series on Divorce and how to calm down facing one.


Ottawa braces for budget hangups under PTSD law

The city’s treasurer says it’s ‘impossible to quantify’ how much Ottawa will owe under new legislation that protects first responders suffering from PTSD.

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Police Psychology: Disabled Police Officer or Scammer? - A personal experience on being ``Disabled in the Line of Duty”

By Sgt. John Rogowski

What is a Disabled Police Officer? He or she is “Lucky,” “A Scammer,” “Faking It,” “Has Hit The Jackpot,” “ Malingering,” “ Making it Worse Than it is,” “Lazy,” “Trying to Get Out of Work,” and the names go on and on…  If you have become permanently “Disabled in The Line of Duty” perhaps you have been called one of these names, or similar ones, to your face.

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Are you at risk of suffering from PTSD?

New legislation across the country is prompting questions about PTSD, what exactly the definition should be, and its real impact on front-line responders.

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After the accident - Pitfalls to avoid for employers after workplace accidents #learnthelatest

The obligations on employers, constructors and other workplace stakeholders once a workplace accident occurs are heavy. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”) requires that these parties take positive actions immediately from the time that an accident occurs. These actions can have important implications for later legal proceedings. Failing to comply with these obligations is itself a breach of the Act and can lead to legal liability distinct from and in addition to any liability flowing from the accident.

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Police Psychology: Motivation - Back to the Basics

By Lt. James Kieran

Different generations are motivated differently due to different frames of reference.  While it is essential to understand the differences in the people that you lead, there are far more similarities then you may think.  The basics still remain the same.

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CNW - Ontario Shores partners with OPG to deliver mental health first aid to employees

In the heart of National Mental Health Week, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) have announced an agreement to provide mental health training to the energy provider’s employees.

The agreement supports the training of up to 2,000 OPG employees in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a certificate program managed in this country by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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OHSCanada - Out of the Shadows

The passing of legislation presuming that post-traumatic stress disorder among Ontario’s first responders is work-related points to a growing recognition across Canada that occupational injuries are not just physical.

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EMSWORLD - Canadian Agency Tackles PTSD Head On With Peer Support Program

In response to its paramedics’ emotional trauma, the YRPS launched a Peer Support Team. Comprised of 20 York Region paramedics trained in psychological first aid, these paramedics provide traumatized EMS practitioners with someone they can reach out to for help.


CAMH - PTSD in the First Responder World

There has been increasing media coverage about PTSD over the past several years, particularly with the number of Canadian and US soldiers returning from the Middle East reporting high levels of psychological distress. Highly-respected Canadians such as Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire and Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier have courageously opened up about their own battles with PTSD. PTSD however, is not a new concept.

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Global News - Edmonton artist who battles depression uses camera to put a face to mental illness

A local photographer is turning her lens on a subject she feels needs to be in the spotlight. As Su-Ling Goh reports, she’s focusing on the faces of mental illness with a cool exhibit that’s being sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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Mississauga firefighters first in Ontario to receive new mental-health training

Firefighters in Mississauga are the first in the province to benefit from a new program that aims to help first responders cope with the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. The Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program held its first training session with firefighters learning how to recognize signs of mental-health issues and work-related stress in themselves and their colleagues.


TEDxMSVU - Police Mental Health: from self-improvement to community improvement by Jean-Michel Blais

Jean-Michel Blais, Chief of Halifax Regional Police, describes the experiences that led him be diagnosed with PTSD and how the daily management of his condition has led him to be a better leader, which is helping to change the attitude and culture of his police force. Jean-Michel (J.M.) Blais was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 25 years. In 2008, he was assigned to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti as Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of over 1,700 international police officers. Chief Blais was also dispatched to provide aid following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. He is a committed community member and has been decorated with medals by both the UN and the Government of Canada.

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TVO: Rescuing the Rescuers

While others run away from sirens, police officers, paramedics and firefighters are expected to run towards them. Their constant experience with emergency and trauma makes them more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. First responders and a psychologist join The Agenda to discuss PTSD, workplace culture and the impact of proposed legislation currently being debated at Queen’s Park.