Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Learn what Canada is doing to address PTSD.

On this page

About PTSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that may occur after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event.

Traumatic events can include:

  • war
  • crime
  • major accidents
  • interpersonal violence
  • disasters

PTSD has specific psychological symptoms and can affect people of any age, culture or gender.

People with PTSD may experience major distress or find it hard to cope:

  • at work or school
  • in social or family life

How Canada is helping

Canada is committed to addressing PTSD. We passed the Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act in June 2018. The Act recognizes that all Canadians can be at risk for PTSD and that a great number face higher risks because of the nature of their work.

The Act led to a National Conference on PTSD in April 2019. Experts from across the country, including people with lived experience, shared their knowledge and views. With their involvement, we have developed Canada’s first Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Recognition, Collaboration and Support connects and builds on existing federal efforts. It focuses on occupation-related PTSD, but also acknowledges other populations affected by PTSD.

The Framework was developed to help:

  • improve tracking of PTSD and its economic and social costs;
  • promote and share guidelines and best practices for diagnosis, treatment and management of PTSD; and,
  • create and distribute educational materials.

The Framework will be used to:

  • strengthen knowledge creation, knowledge exchange, and collaboration across the federal government, and with partners and stakeholders;
  • inform practical, evidence-based public health actions, programs and policies; and,
  • reduce stigma and improve recognition of the symptoms and impacts of PTSD.

A review of the effectiveness of the Framework will be prepared within five years of its publication. The review will include a progress update and highlight new initiatives and their results.

Other federal PTSD-related activities

Other federal initiatives to support people living with PTSD include:

Mental health supports

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support, you are not alone. Please visit the Mental health support: get help page for more information.

For further information

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: