OTTAWA, May 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Paramedic services personnel are the people we hope we never need, but appreciate when we do. They are often the front-line professionals that comes to our aid when we are experiencing an emergency. Their job is to run toward danger when logic tells us to flee. They can be the difference between life and death and this can weigh heavily on their shoulders. The rewarding, yet demanding, nature of their work can lead to higher incidences of mental health problems and operational stress injuries like PTSD.
Paramedic Services Week (May 27-June 2) reminds us of the importance of promoting and protecting the mental health and well being of paramedics. They do invaluable work to keep us safe and are a critical community service. Paramedics are a unique hybrid of first responder and healthcare provider, two rigorous and demanding professions. Building their resiliency by implementing measures that direct special attention to their psychological health and safety at work should be a priority.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), along with key partners, recently launched a new tool to do just that. The Standard for psychological health and safety in the paramedic service organization is a blueprint to decrease stigma, identify mental health hazards and implement changes to address them. Ambulances and paramedic stations aren't just essential services—they are workplaces. We hope paramedic organizations across Canada will implement this new standard and help protect this special workforce.