Caption: Police officers serving the province of Ontario have been promised a comprehensive mental health program (CBC)

New program to address police ‘mental health crisis’

The province of Ontario will invest in a comprehensive mental health program for its police officers after 13 suicides occurred, nine of them last year.

The program will be available to all active and retired members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA). This organization bargains for nearly 10,000 uniform and civilian members.

‘Many…suffer every day’

“Uniform and Civilian members of law enforcement are consistently exposed to traumatic events in the performance of their duties,” said OPPA President Rob Jamieson in a statement. “Many of our members, both active and retired, and their families suffer everyday in the name of keeping our province safe. This new investment allows us to take meaningful steps in addressing the mental health crisis at the OPP.”

Ontario Provincial Police officers are said to be ‘consistently exposed to traumatic events.’ (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press/June 4, 2018)

One-stop approach to care promised

The program will offer a one-stop approach to care to connect people to services easily and quickly. Confidentially will be assured and there will be family support as well involving tele-health resources, crisis intervention specialists such as nurses or psychiatrists and mental health treatment facilities.

The chief coroner for Ontario is investigating the issue of police suicides.

Categories: Health, Society
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