A report towards improving interactions between police and people living with mental health problems
First responders form a unique and resilient workforce, able to cope with some of society’s most complex and critical situations. As such, tools, resources and programs must be adapted for the unique culture and operational realities of first responder organizations.
Routinely exposed to traumatic events in the course of their duties, they also encounter people who are in vulnerable situations, including regular interaction with people living with mental health problems and illnesses. Collectively, these experiences can take a significant toll, both in human and financial costs.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) considers a variety of first responder and associated positions in its work, including:
The MHCC helps build capacity to advance the mental health of first responders and improve their interactions with people living with mental health problems and illnesses. Through stakeholder collaboration, the MHCC develops and adapts training tools and resources to enable first responder organizations to adopt comprehensive mental wellness strategies, focused both internally and externally.
The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
A voluntary set of guidelines, tools, and resources to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological injuries at work.
Paramedic service organizations
On April 26, 2018, the MHCC partnered with the Paramedic Association of Canada to launch The Psychological Health and Safety in the Paramedic Service Organization Standard (the Paramedic Standard), a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources tailored specifically for paramedic service organizations to help promote mental health and prevent psychological injuries at work. The Paramedic Association of Canada commissioned the creation of the Paramedic Standard through support and funding from the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program.
The Working Mind First Responders
A program designed to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to address and promote mental health and resiliency in a first responder workplace setting. The program includes a self-assessment tool and a set of evidenced-based, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques that help individuals cope with stress and improve their mental health and resiliency.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
A training program that helps increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems and know how to help if an individual begins to experience a mental health problem or crisis. First responders across Canada have received training and MHFA has now been adapted for members of the veteran community.
TEMPO: Police Interactions
A report towards improving interactions between police and people living with mental health problems.
First Responder Testimonials – Mental Illness and Recovery
This educational video series showcases stories of individual Canadian first responders from coast to coast who have experienced and overcome mental health challenges.