CMHA Ontario joins individuals and organizations around the world in recognizing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) Awareness Day.
If you’re struggling, please reach out for support. Find your local CMHA branch here.
PTSD Awareness Day was officially recognized for the first time in Ontario by the provincial government in 2019. PTSD is an anxiety disorder involving exposure to a traumatic event which could include crimes, natural disasters, accidents, war or conflict, or other threats to life. A person with PTSD could experience the event themselves or witness it happening to others.
While post-traumatic stress can affect anyone, health care workers, police officers, paramedics, firefighters and corrections staff are particularly at risk through their work. The unique workplace stress for first responders can lead to operational stress injuries, which include PTSD. Women, refugees and Indigenous people are also statistically at higher risk.
To support first responders – specifically firefighters at this time – CMHA Ontario offers Resilient Minds, an evidence-informed, peer-to-peer, skill-building program designed by and for career and volunteer firefighters across Canada to develop strategies to mitigate and better manage occupational stress and enhance personal resilience, resulting in informed and healthier teams. Learn more at resilientmindsontario.ca.
For service providers, the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health has created an infosheet on trauma-informed Practice which highlights the fundamentals of the practice, what trauma is, some tips for implementation, as well as information on self-care for practitioners.
To show support, we encourage you to share positive messages using the #PTSDAwarenessDay hashtag on social media.