Federal support to Runnymede Healthcare Centre for feasibility study on PTSI for Public Safety Personnel
March 3, 2022
Canada’s public safety personnel are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events that can take a toll on their mental health, putting them at high risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI) and other operational injuries. Through the National Action Plan on PTSI for public safety personnel, the Government of Canada is committed to providing national leadership to address this issue by facilitating collaboration, sharing best practices and funding cutting-edge research to help public safety personnel get access to the care and support they need.
Today, on behalf of Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale - High Park, announced that the Government of Canada intends to provide up to $1 million to Runnymede Healthcare Centre (RHC) for a feasibility study into the development of a facility dedicated to comprehensive rehabilitation-focused programs and services for PTSI.
This facility would serve as a PTSI Centre of Excellence for public safety personnel. Activities that could be supported by the federal funding include a review of best practices for supporting the rehabilitation of public safety personnel suffering from PTSI, modelling of projected volumes and staffing requirements, assessment of potential funding models, exploration of service delivery models and knowledge transfer activities.
“Supporting the health of our public safety personnel is something that we do with pride. Through the Action Plan on PTSI, we have made significant investments in further research to improve access to treatment and better understand how these injuries impact public safety officers and the community. We’re pleased to see Runnymede Healthcare Centre moving forward with important efforts to make research, treatment, and support widely available.”
- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“Throughout this pandemic, public safety personnel have been keeping us safe from COVID-19, working as first responders on the front lines. They have done this selflessly, sometimes at great risks to themselves. Today, we begin the important work of looking after the mental health of those who for so long, have been looking after all of us. This important initiative at the Runnymede Healthcare Centre will directly benefit women and men in uniform, not just in my community here in Toronto, but around the province and across the country.”
- Arif Virani, Member of Parliament for Parkdale – High Park
“The support of the Federal Government will allow the Treatment Centre to conduct clinical research and will work with renowned researchers to gather strong research evidence to better understand and ultimately inform the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Injury. In partnership with First Responders’ Command and Professional Associations, Runnymede Healthcare Centre is working to develop programs and services that address the unique needs of First Responders and their families. These purpose-built facilities will provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time providing a better long-term strategy to wellness for First Responders.”
- Connie Dejak, President and CEO, Runnymede Healthcare Centre
Public safety personnel is a term that broadly encompasses front-line personnel who ensure the safety and security of Canadians across all jurisdictions. Examples can include: Tri-Services (police – including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, firefighters, and paramedics), correctional employees, border services personnel, operational and intelligence personnel, search and rescue personnel, Indigenous emergency managers, and dispatch personnel.
In 2019,the Government of Canada released Supporting Canada’s Public Safety Personnel: An Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries. The Action Plan was developed based on consultations with many stakeholders, including other levels of government, public safety organizations, academia, union representatives, mental health professionals and non-governmental organizations. This work will support research, prevention, early intervention, stigma-reduction, care and treatment for all types of public safety personnel, all across the country.
The Action Plan built on other investments by the Government of Canada to advance work on this issue, including:
- $20 million over five years (2019-2023) to support a new National Research Consortium on PTSI among public safety personnel between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT);
- $10 million for an Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy pilot to provide greater access to care and treatment for public safety personnel, especially in rural and remote areas; and
- $10 million toward a longitudinal study of the mental health of RCMP new recruits that will help develop appropriate mental wellness and remedial strategies for the Force and other emergency response organizations.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada
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