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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.