You don’t have to be a war veteran to suffer from post-traumatic stress or panic.
Public safety personnel, including correctional officers, fire fighters, paramedics and police officers, also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorder, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse, potentially more often than the general public.
“Public safety workers may deal with many different operational stress injuries, like anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia,” said Dr. Rose Ricciardelli, associate professor and co-ordinator of the criminal certification program in the Department of Sociology.
“In November 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter to Minister Ralph Goodale, minister of Public Safety, proposed working with provinces and territories and the minister of Health to develop a co-ordinated national action plan on post-traumatic stress disorder, which disproportionately affects public safety officers. That is what we aim to do this month.”
The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) will host a three-day CIPSRT summit 2017 from July 25-27 on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.
Dr. Ricciardelli, who is also the associate director for corrections research with CIPSRT, wants to get the word out that members of the Memorial community are invited to attend an informative discussion on Tuesday, July 25, at 10 a.m. in A-1043 in the Arts and Administration building.
“On day one of the summit we want to see key players from unions, fire, police, corrections and paramedics, as well as local and national government officials, get together with Memorial and CIPSRT to discuss CIPSRT strategic priorities in the Atlantic region,” said Dr. Nick Carleton, scientific director of CIPSRT.
Dr. Ricciardelli says that the process of improving the well-being of public safety employees across the province and the country will start to take place next week.
“By the end of Summit 2017 we hope to have developed a sound business case to present to the federal government,” she said.
“We are working to put more measures in place to help assess symptoms, we’d like to conduct longitudinal studies and build on supporting families-focused research. Our ultimate goal is to improve prevention, training, and intervention as well as to offer fast, easy and confidential access to treatment protocols with no out-of-pocket costs to individual members of the public service.”
For more information
Dr. Rose Ricciardelli can be reached via email, as can Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton.
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Canadian Association of Police Governance
Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
International Association of Fire Fighters
Paramedic Association of Canada
Union of Solicitor General Employees
National Office for the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE)
Wounded Warriors Canada