Government of Canada invests in supporting those most at risk of posttraumatic stress disorder
June 27, 2022
Supporting the mental health and well-being of people in Canada, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, is a priority for the Government of Canada.
Budget 2021 committed an investment of $50 million over two years to support projects that address posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma in frontline and other essential workers, and others affected by the pandemic. The nine projects announced today, totalling an investment of $28.2 million, are the first set of projects being supported through this Budget 2021 commitment.
This investment provides an opportunity to deliver, evaluate and build evidence about effective interventions. It is also an opportunity to scale up effective interventions for broader reach, and/or adapt and pilot them with new populations or different delivery systems. In addition, this investment is an opportunity to foster improvements in the delivery of existing supports. For example, this investment will include initiatives to help reduce stigma, enhance trauma-informed practice, remove barriers to care, and improve help-seeking and system navigation.
The new knowledge resulting from these projects will be gathered and shared through a Knowledge Development and Exchange Hub, the Canadian Institutes for Pandemic Health Education and Response (CIPHER), which will help inform mental health interventions addressing PTSD and trauma and enhance Canadian public health policy and practice. This funding opportunity is designed to promote mental health, wellness and resilience, as well as provide support following exposure to trauma to help mitigate mental health impacts. Promotion and proactive care are important supports that can help reduce demands on the health care system.
- The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina is receiving $2,843,107 in funding to facilitate a Knowledge Development and Exchange hub, the Canadian Institutes for Pandemic Health Education and Response (CIPHER), in partnership with several existing hubs, which will connect the projects funded through this investment and support evaluation while mobilizing knowledge to broader affected communities and service providers.
- The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina is receiving $2,072,233 in funding to work with the Families Matter Research Group (Queen's University) and the Child Trauma Research Centre (University of Regina) to create PSPNET Families, a virtual wellbeing hub for the families of Public Safety Personnel.
- The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina is receiving $9,015,949 in funding to evaluate the Before Operational Stress program (BOS) originally sponsored by Wounded Warriors Canada. BOS is being deployed by Wayfound Inc. to support 103,600 public safety personnel and frontline health care workers across Canada who are regularly exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events and posttraumatic stress injuries, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina is receiving $3,713,778 in funding to implement, scale-up, and test the OnCall and OnCall Support apps to facilitate peer support to up to 30,000 public safety personnel (PSP) for public safety communicators, paramedics, correctional workers, and firefighters. The funding will also be used to bring together peer support leaders to form a national community network dedicated to advancing peer support for Canadian PSP, as well as develop and deploy important enhancements to the PSP Mental Health Services website.
- The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina is receiving $2,139,765 in funding to expand access to enhanced training for frontline public safety personnel (PSP). This includes, but is not limited to, the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), which was designed by the Canadian Department of National Defense to reduce stigma, reduce barriers to care seeking, improve short-term performance, and support long-term mental health. The project will expand R2MR training opportunities by certifying new Trainers and Master Trainers and expanding the potential reach of the online version of R2MR by developing and providing a French version. The training is expected to reach hundreds of PSP across Canada, many of whom will go on to help hundreds more.
- McMaster University is receiving $2,962,276 in funding for the Healthcare salute: Thank-you for your service project. The project objectives are to 1) develop evidence-based resources for affected and at-risk healthcare populations, including mental health literacy tools that will help individuals to recognize trauma- and stress-related experiences, and 2) equip healthcare support and allied organizations to recognize and support those healthcare workers affected by trauma and PTSD. The project will reach approximately 75,000 healthcare workers across 708 public hospitals in Canada.
- McMaster University is receiving $1,560,242 in funding for their Beyond Silence: Advancing E-mental health solutions to support Canadian healthcare providers project. The objective of this project is to implement and evaluate a mobile mental health app (Beyond Silence). The app is designed to promote early intervention and mental health support for frontline healthcare workers to reduce their risk of PTSD and the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is expected to reach 10,000 to 50,000 healthcare workers across Canada.
- Canadian Mental Health Association is receiving $1,061,097 in funding for their Resilient Minds™ Building the Psychological Strength of Firefighters project, a trauma-informed, peer-to-peer training program designed to enhance the personal resilience of firefighters and the collective resilience of fire services. CMHA will adapt, translate, pilot, evaluate, and implement Resilient Minds™ for Francophone firefighters and adapt, pilot, evaluate, and implement Resilient Minds™ for Indigenous firefighters across Canada with a reach of approximately 750 firefighters. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the National Indigenous Fire Safety Council and other partners.
- Lawson Health Research Institute's MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre is receiving $2,832,732 in funding for their project, Promoting Resilience and Mental Health: Adapting Canada's Department of National Defence Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) Program to Support Canadian Health Care Workers. The objective of this project is to adapt and optimize a resilience and mental health training program, Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), for application within a large health care organization and develop an organizational toolkit to equip organizations in implementing the program.
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