Government invests in post-traumatic stress injury training
January 25, 2018
Public Safety Canada
Public safety officers play a critical role in keeping our communities safe from a range of threats, putting their lives on the line to protect us. In the course of their daily work, public safety officers are repeatedly exposed to traumatic incidents, which can put them at great risk for operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI).
Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced an investment of $187,000 over two years to the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina. The Institute is facilitating training in a program delivered by the Canadian Armed Forces that will help prevent and raise awareness of post-traumatic stress injuries in public safety officers across Canada.
The first five-day session of the Road to Mental Readiness Train the Trainer Program and Master Trainer Program for Public Safety Personnel wraps up Friday at the Canadian Police College. Approximately 25 leaders from the Tri-Services (police, firefighters, paramedics and correctional services organizations) are participating in the training.
The Road to Mental Readiness program, developed by the Canadian Armed Forces, aims to increase mental health awareness and offer resources to maintain positive mental health and increase resiliency in public safety personnel. By training public safety leaders in the delivery of this program, participants can themselves become trainers, instructing co-workers and personnel in their own organizations. A second session is expected to be held later in the year to instruct participants in how to train other trainers. Through this program, essential education and resources on post-traumatic stress injuries will be made available to Canadian public safety officers quickly and efficiently.
Supporting mental health and resilience training for public safety personnel is part of the Government's commitment to ensure that public safety officers have the tools they need when facing post-traumatic stress injuries.
“Public safety personnel put themselves in harm’s way to protect Canadians, putting them disproportionately at risk of post-traumatic stress injuries. We must do more to support their mental health and well-being. Investments in training like the Road to Mental Readiness can make a real difference for those who may be dealing with these injuries.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"The Road to Mental Readiness program developed by the Canadian Armed Forces provides our women and men in uniform with resiliency training and mental health awareness. This will assist them in managing the demanding and stressful situations that can be associated with military service. We are pleased that our Public Safety colleagues will be able to benefit from the same excellent training that our military personnel receive and that we are able to assist by delivering this training directly to them."
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
“Evidence-based mental health scholarship is a research priority at the University of Regina, and team members involved in this project are internationally recognized for their work supporting those who suffer from operational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder. We are honoured to engage in this research that stands to improve the quality of life for Canada’s public safety personnel and their families.”
- Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina
The Road to Mental Readiness is a program initially developed by the Canadian Armed Forces for military personnel. The Armed Forces has collected evidence in support of the program as an important and effective tool for reducing mental health stigma as well as promoting mental health and resiliency in their workplace. The Armed Forces has adapted the program, with help from CIPSRT, to support the needs of employees and managers in first responder and other public safety agencies.
The Government of Canada continues to work closely with a broad stakeholder community, including all levels of Government, Indigenous leaders, public safety stakeholders, academia, mental health professionals and not-for-profit organizations, to develop a coordinated action plan on post-traumatic stress injuries in support of public safety officers.
Outcomes of two PTSI Roundtables hosted by Public Safety in 2016 have signalled a need to increase national support for research and data collection; prevention, early intervention and stigma reduction; and support for care and treatment.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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