Ms. Pam Damoff, Member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, has tabled the Committee’s report after its study of Operational Stress Injuries (OSIs) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Public Safety Officers and First Responders.
In its report the Committee recognizes, as did all of its witnesses, the unique nature of the work performed by public safety officers and first responders and their experience with PTSD.
The Committee believes that more can be done in respect of evidence-based research, data collection and the sharing of best practices among departments, agencies and organizations.
The Committee is cognizant of the fact that the majority of public safety officers are provincial employees within the tri-services (fire, paramedics and law enforcement) and believes that this demonstrates the importance and need for federal leadership and effective partnerships among all levels of government.
The Committee’s key recommendations consist of three foundational pieces that will help to ensure that accurate data is collected and then shared nationally so that public safety officers are supported regardless of where they live or work.
The Committee has called for the creation of a Canadian Institute for Public Safety Officer Health Research and has asked that a mental health prevalence survey be conducted.
Furthermore, the Committee has suggested that an expert working group be formed and be tasked with the elaboration of a national strategy on OSIs, and that this strategy include policies on prevention, screening, education, intervention and treatment.
The report is available online on the website of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.