Ontario Supporting OPP Personnel and their Families Dealing with Mental Health ChallengesPublished on April 02, 2019
New integrated support program to help with work-related stress and post-traumatic stress disorder
TORONTO - As Ontario's Government for the People works to fix an unsustainable financial situation, we are putting Ontario Provincial Police personnel and their families first by investing in a comprehensive mental health program.
"The unique challenges and demands our brave men and women in uniform experience on the job when protecting our communities can have a severe impact on their mental health and emotional wellbeing" said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "The commitment we are making today, in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police Association, will address a mental health crisis in the OPP."
The people of Ontario have been left with a $15 billion deficit inherited from the previous government. If left unchecked, this financial situation will put essential services - including health care, education, and community safety - at risk. The government is committed to protecting these services that matter most to the people.
"Every day our dedicated police officers and personnel work tirelessly to keep our families safe. How can we expect our frontline police heroes to be there for us if we're not there for them?" said Jones. "Police frequently put themselves in harm's way or witness highly traumatic events in the course of their duties. Tragically, far too many officers and their families have suffered as a result. That's why our government is stepping up to provide the resources and support members of the OPP deserve."
The Ontario Provincial Police Association is a partner in the new program, which will help ensure OPP personnel can remain healthy and continue to ensure the security of the people of Ontario.
"On a regular basis, our members are asked to willingly subject themselves to traumatic events," said Rob Jamieson, President of the OPPA. "The resources currently in place to assist our members and their families are insufficient to address the mental health crisis that currently exists in the OPP. This integrated and comprehensive mental health program, which is being fully funded by the government and run by the OPPA, represents a decisive first step in addressing the single largest issue facing our active and retired members. The commitment made today by our partners in government goes well beyond any mental health resources presently available."
Consistent with the Government of Ontario's commitment to customer service, OPP officers and their families will be at the centre of the program. The modern, innovative program will feature an integrated emergency network designed to provide:
- A one-stop approach to care so individuals can be connected to the most appropriate mental health supports and services as easily and quickly as possible.
- A confidential and personalized experience from beginning to end with continuous support and guidance throughout the process.
- Access to employee and family assistance programs, children and seniors-focused support services, tele-health support, crisis intervention specialists such as registered nurses or psychiatrists and mental health treatment facilities.