REGINA, SK, Jan. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, on behalf of Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, Michel Picard, Parliamentary Secretary, chaired a national roundtable supporting public safety officers affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In a video message to participants, Minister Goodale highlighted that the roundtable is the beginning of consultations on a national action plan for public safety officers coping with PTSD. The one-day roundtable brought together public safety officers, including firefighters, paramedics and police, government officials, academics and not-for-profit organizations. Discussions focused on defining the issue, the need for evidence-based national standards on the assessment, treatment, and long-term care of the public safety community affected by PTSD, and other operational stress injuries, and identifying next steps.
The federal government, provinces, territories, public safety officers and other key stakeholders will continue to work closely together on ways to support public safety personnel suffering from PTSD. The national roundtable is an important first step toward delivering a coordinated national action plan that will properly care for public safety personnel affected by PTSD.
- Public safety personnel are especially susceptible to PTSD and other operational stress injuries as a result of experiencing or witnessing traumatic events in the line of duty.
- There is currently no national-level plan in place to support public safety officers coping with effects of PTSD, and other operational stress injuries.
- In addition, the Government of Canada has committed to working swiftly with provinces, territories and other partners to create a compensation benefit fund for firefighters, police officers and paramedics.
"Over the years, I have heard repeatedly from the public safety community that more needs to be done for those suffering from PTSD. We routinely ask public safety officers to stand in harm's way to protect and keep Canadians safe, and for that, they deserve the highest level of support and care. I am sorry to have missed today's roundtable, but I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the conversation. A national action plan on PTSD will not only support the health and well-being of the public safety community, but will also contribute to the safety of Canada .This issue remains a priority for me personally and for my officials.."
- Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"I commend my colleague, the Minister of Public Safety, as well as the public safety officers, key stakeholders and academics who came together today, to discuss the realities of PTSD. These discussions increase our common understanding of PTSD and set the groundwork for improving the lives of those suffering from it. I look forward to working with partners and stakeholders in developing a national action plan on PTSD and in helping Canadians maintain and improve their mental health."
- Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health
"First responders have higher rates of PTSD because they are in high-stress situations, frequently in harm's way, to protect the public and save lives. The PTSD Roundtable is essential to ensure that we continue the conversation on the best evidence-based supports for mental health and wellbeing that our first responders need."
- Honourable Christine Tell, Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for Corrections and Policing
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657