Hello and welcome everyone to 16x9's live chat on PTSD and First Responders. Thanks to everyone taking the time to join us today.
I'd like to introduce our featured guests.
Joining us today is Vince Savoia from the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, whose organization does a tremendous amount of advocacy work on this issue.
We also have Sgt Jag Soin, the RCMP officer we featured in our story. Jag also works to raise awareness through Badge of Life Canada.
And we have Dr Jeff Morley, also featured in our story. He's a psychologist who sees a lot of first responders with PTSD, and is also a recently retired member of the RCMP.
Indeed. changing the culture one of hardest parts. Needs support from top to change....
I'd like to pose a question for our guests, as we see the comments start to come in, it's gotten obvious how big an issue this is. Why are we still seemingly so far behind? Vince can you start?
Resourcing levels and toxic workplaces only amplify impact of traumatic stressors on first responders
I see too many walking wounded around the HQ in Ottawa, having gone through this myself you recognize the ones who are suffering but hesitant to seek out the help they need because of the stigma or an end to their career progression
Well, I truly believe that mental health and the stigma that surrounds it is still a topic that many still feel very uncomfortable talking about.
Culture change needs to, not only start at the top, but also the bottom.
Too many broken families, too many lost to addictions or worse
I think this is an issue requiring a national strategy for all first responders across Canada. research then plan interventions, treatment, and education. More similarities between agencies than differences. Federal government needs to coordinate the effort partnering with provinces and municipalities
Jeff/Vince - outside of Alberta, we have seen a reluctance of government to get involved with legislation - any idea why?
That's the million $ question. I suspect they're afraid that the flood gates for PTSD claims will open wide.
Government sees PTSD as huge cost. They don't research to explore PTSD rates as they don't want to know answers. Afraid changing legislation will cost them big $$$
It is the funding of programs thus most Governments are hesitant to address this issue
PTSD already costing them. They don't have foresight to see value in investing in prevention / early intervention, but rather wait til people go off work, then try and exit them from organization
How is the presumptive bill working in Alberta?
Bev - does the UK do someting we can learn from?