CIPSRT invites all Canadians to recognize PTSD awareness on June 27
To promote PTSD awareness and reduce stigma, CIPSRT has produced an educational video that documents the progress society has made in our understanding of PTSD
CIPSRT encourages all to wear a teal shirt on June 27 to mark PTSD awareness and 40th anniversary of PTSD recognition as a mental health disorder.
The teal ribbon is assigned as a symbol of PTSD awareness.
Studies show that, in North America, about 50 to 90 per cent of people may experience one or more potentially traumatic events during their lifetime, and 5 to 10 per cent of this group may develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Certain responses to potentially traumatic experiences are considered to be normal. For example, it is okay to feel unsettled or uncomfortable at first, because most people recover and return to normal life within a few days of exposure to traumatic events.
However, some people go on to have longer-lasting health challenges. This includes people in careers where exposure to potentially traumatic events may be more common, more frequent or longer in nature, such as public safety personnel (PSP), including police officers, career and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, correctional employees, border services personnel, and public-safety communications officials.
University of Regina’s psychology professor and scientific director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, describes PTSD as “a mental health disorder which can occur following exposure to specific types of potentially psychologically traumatic events involving a severe threat to oneself or others.”
Since 2019, the province of Ontario has dedicated June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day in order to educate and create awareness around PTSD, as well as to reduce the stigma for PSP facing PTSD.
Interestingly, PTSD was not formally recognized as a mental health disorder until 1980 when it was officially entered into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). That means 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the formal recognition of PTSD as a mental health disorder.
“To mark this special day, CIPSRT has produced an educational video that documents the progress society has made in our understanding of PTSD,” says CIPSRT Executive Director and Interim Associate Vice-President (Research), Dr. Nicholas Jones. “We have come a long way in forty years and at CIPSRT we have been able to disseminate a further understanding of the effects PTSD has on PSP in Canada as well as make progress on PSP-specific treatment. Please join CIPSRT in sharing this video and recognizing June 27, 2020 as PTSD Awareness Day.”
Dr. Jones adds that “the teal ribbon is assigned as a symbol of PTSD awareness” and encourages all Canadians to wear a teal shirt on June 27 in order to support Canada’s public safety personnel who protect and keep all of us safe.
In the past few years, the University of Regina has been engaged in strategic efforts and partnerships to meet some of the mental health needs of Canada’s PSP. In January 2019, the U of R and Public Safety Canada signed a contribution agreement to operationalize the Government of Canada’s commitment to establish a new national research consortium to address PTSD among public safety personnel.
This resulted in the establishment of CIPSRT, and the public safety personnel internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (PSPNET) to address post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI), coordinate research, enhance access to treatment, and improve the well-being of police officers, career and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, correctional employees, border services personnel, and public-safety communications officials, living with depression, anxiety, and PTSI.
For more information on PTSD Awareness Day activities, please visit https://www.cipsrt-icrtsp.ca/ptsd-40th-anniversary/or follow CIPSRT on Twitter @CIPSRT_ICRTSP and Facebook CIPSRT-ICRTSP.
As part of the National Research Consortium, CIPSRT serves as the Knowledge Exchange Hub for knowledge synthesis, translation, and exchange that relies upon the best contemporary research evidence supporting an overall mission to help current and former public safety personnel, their leaders, and their families to maintain and improve their mental health and well-being. CIPSRT is a research institute located at the University of Regina.
Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT)
University of Regina
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