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June 27, 2022

CIPSRT receives over $20 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada to support public safety personnel and their families

The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) has received more than $20 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to fund five research projects. These projects will explore and support the mental health needs of Canadian public safety personnel, their leaders, and their families.

The following projects will be led by the CIPSRT team and will involve multiple partners from across Canada.

  • Expansion and Evaluation of the Before Operational Stress Program (~$9.1 million) – this project will deploy and evaluate a new digital and virtual version of the Before Operational Stress training program, as well as expanding and evaluating in-person offerings.
  • An Ecosystem of Proactive and Responsive Resources and Supports for Public Safety Personnel Families (~$2.1 million) – this project will develop and offer evidence-informed and trauma-informed resources to serve PSP families through the creation of PSPNET-Families.
  • Advancing Peer Support Programming to Address PTSD and Trauma Among Canadian Public Safety Personnel (PSP) and Veterans (~$3.8 million) – this project will support a coordinated national approach, enabling the development and deployment of 24/7/365 available technology (application) which will connect PSP in need of support with existing peer supporters.
  • Training and Development Program for Public Safety Personnel (~$2.3 million) – this project will offer high-quality, accessible, and responsive evidence-informed training and development to support the mental health and resiliency of PSP.
  • Canadian Institute for Pandemic Health Education and Response ($2.8 million) – this “Hub of Hubs” will coordinate existing knowledge mobilization hubs to provide support for all the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)-funded projects in this initiative.

“It is more important than ever to support public safety personnel across the country, which includes both their mental wellness and their families’ well-being,” said Dr. Kathleen McNutt, Vice-President (Research) with the University of Regina. “The funding that we have received from the Public Health Agency of Canada positions the University of Regina as a leader in innovative mental health research and support in Canada.”

“CIPSRT is a leader in the research and development of effective mental-health treatment and training programs with the goal of improving the lifetime well-being of public safety personnel, their leadership, and their families.” said Dr. Jones.

Since 2018, CIPSRT has been developing and providing clinical mental health supports, and mobilizing knowledge for public safety personnel (PSP), their leaders, and their families, including Canadian border security officers, correctional workers, firefighters, operational intelligence officers, paramedics, police, public safety communicators (e.g., 911 dispatchers), search and rescue personnel.

“Canada’s frontline and essential workers have sacrificed so much to keep us healthy and safe throughout the pandemic, and they deserve our support,” said the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health. “With today’s investment, our government is helping create new tools to support those most at risk of PTSD and encourage their healing process, all while reducing stigma and removing barriers to care. To all frontline workers – we are incredibly grateful for your continued dedication and commitment to caring for our communities. Thank you!”

“Our public safety personnel from across Canada stood with our frontline healthcare workers throughout the most intense moments of the pandemic and continue to protect us all today, “ said Dr. Nick Carleton “Their service carried a heavy toll for which we all owe a duty of care. The funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada is allowing us to provide meaningful national solutions to help support their mental health and we are excited to help as many as we can.”

Dr. Nick Carleton, Dr. Nick Jones, and other participating researchers are available for interviews. Please contact Mindy Ellis at 306-581-4541 or to set up an interview.

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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. For more on CIPSRT, please see

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