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.
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.
Acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychological reactions that develop in some people following the experience of traumatic events such as major disaster, war, sexual or physical assault, motor vehicle accidents, and torture. Exposure to a traumatic event is not an uncommon experience. Large community surveys in Australia and overseas reveal that 50–65 per cent of people report at least one traumatic event in their lives. The volume of research studies on the treatment of ASD and PTSD published over the past decade, and the emerging consensus from those studies, warrants the development of clinical practice guidelines. The guidelines were developed in accord with National Health and Medical Research Council guideline development requirements, by a working party comprising key trauma experts from throughout Australia, in consultation with a multidisciplinary panel comprising representatives of the range of health professionals involved in the care of people with ASD and PTSD, and service users.
Emergency workers perform a vital role in our society. They protect the rule of law, ensure our safety and provide assistance in emergencies. Surveys consistently show that emergency workers are one of the most valued and trusted occupational groups. However, there is increasing realisation that emergency work can come at a cost. Large numbers of emergency workers report ongoing psychological consequences from exposure to trauma, most notably post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This guideline helps emergency workers and their clinicians as they work together towards recovery.
Mental health, mental illness and stress-related disability are especially ill-defined, complex and controversial issues when considered in the context of the workplace. Currently, a knowledge gap exists between mental health professionals and employers regarding symptom-based models of illness and function based models of work performance. As a result, psychiatric disorders affecting workers are under-identified and under-treated and likely result in unmitigated impairment and disability. The authors examine several conceptual models for workplace mental illness across medical and psychological disciplines and propose a unifying construct. The utility of the existing screening methods for common workplace illnesses and their potential application are reviewed. The challenges of diagnosis and effective treatment of workplace mental illness are highlighted within an “occupational mental health system” with suggestions for future research directions.
Mental health problems are a serious issue in our society. The Qualaxia Network supports effective actions that promote mental health, prevention and treatments for common mental disorders.
Qualaxia is a network of researchers, experts, decision-makers, managers and clinicians. The network’s goal is making documents believed to be particularly important on the subject of public mental health easily accessible.
This community has been created to bring together stakeholders from the mental health and addictions system in Ontario. To join EENet Connect, sign up below. Members will receive a weekly email about activity in the community and email alerts as new content is posted.
Evidence Exchange Network is a knowledge exchange network that brings together mental health and addition stakeholders from across Ontario. It lists current researchers in the area of mental health and their area of focus. The site also includes webinars based on research in this area.
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.
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.
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.
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.