A national survey published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry shines new light on the incidence of mental illnesses and mental health concerns amongst Canadian First Responders.
The CBC reports that of the participants surveyed, 44.5 percent screened positive for symptoms that are consistent with a mental disorder. This is four times higher than what Statistics Canada predicts is the rate of mental illnesses in the general population, roughly 10 percent of people.
The study links higher rates of mental illnesses and symptoms to location of work, with more remote postings and workplaces having a higher incidence. The authors posit that this is due in part to the lack of access to structured services experienced by those working in a remote setting.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario is proud to offer programming through its Mental Health Works program on Operational Stress Injury. It has also partnered with the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Office of the Fire Marshall to host a one-day conference on Operational Stress within our First Responder communities.