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May 31, 2024

June 2024 is PTSD Awareness Month

The month of June marks posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month in North America, as well as a national day for PTSD Awareness on June 27 in Canada. As the Knowledge Exchange Hub for the National Research Consortium for Posttraumatic stress injury (PTSI) among Public Safety Personnel (PSP), CIPSRT is contributing to this national conversation by helping to share resources and to connect PSP and their families with evidence-based mental health information and treatments provided by academics, researchers, and clinicians from coast to coast.

PTSI can affect anyone, but first responders and other PSP, such as correctional service workers, fire services personnel, Indigenous emergency managers, operational intelligence personnel, paramedics, police officers, public safety communicators, and search and rescue personnel, face a far higher risk than most because of their occupational duties. A growing body of research highlights the ways that frequent exposure to trauma can contribute to the development of PTSI, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD).

The scope of the problem is profound. A 2018 study of a large sample of Canadian PSP found that approximately 44.5% screened positive for one or more mental health disorders, primarily PTSD (23.2 %) or major depressive disorder (26.4%). We therefore welcome this annual opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the impact of PTSI on PSP, and continue advancing Canada’s first-ever National Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries. A 2023 study made possible by the National Police Federation suggests that for at least some PSP, things have worsened since 2018, underscoring the growing need for continued efforts.

We hope you will visit and share our PTSI resource page, where we have videos outlining the facts about PTSD and other PTSI – what they are and their relationships with trauma. We have information on symptoms and on treatment – including how PSP and their families can access internet-delivered therapy, free and without a referral, via PSPNET. You’ll also hear PSP discuss the experience of PTSI in their own words and learn about the ways in which stigma continues to hinder treatment-seeking.

We also invite you to take part in our events in support of PTSI and stigma reduction during PTSD Awareness Month. On Thursday, June 6 (1:00 pm EDT) we present Shifting Barriers – An online panel discussion featuring Q and A with experts in research and treatment of PTSI, and PSP with lived experience of its impacts. And on June 19 (1:00 pm EDT), we present a special edition of PSP CONNECT, an online conversation about PTSI just for frontline PSP.

Join us in acknowledging this month of conversation and action around PTSI and PTSD – because we all have a role to play in destigmatizing mental health challenges and shifting the barriers around seeking help for posttraumatic stress injuries.



Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Duranceau, S., LeBouthillier, D. M., . . . Asmundson, G. J. G. (2018). Mental disorder symptoms among public safety personnel. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 63, 54 – 64.

Carleton, R. N., Jamshidi, L., Nisbet, J., Shields, R. E., & Andrews, K. L. (2024). Mental health disorder symptoms among serving Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Police Practice and Research, 1–21.

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