New Study: Former Public Safety Personnel Mental Health

Recent efforts by a variety of individuals and organizations have underscored the absence of high quality data to support the mental health needs of Former Public Safety Personnel. The phrase Former Public Safety Personnel is used here to broadly include all of the following (alphabetically), even though some may be better characterized as First Responders or Health Care: Canadian Border Services, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Correctional workers, Dispatchers, Emergency Call Centre Operators, Firefighters (including volunteers), Municipal Police Officers, Paramedics, EMTs, EMS Personnel, and RCMP.

Accordingly, with the support of your former associations and executive, an independent interdisciplinary team of researchers has designed a survey to provide you with an anonymous voice in one of the first Canada-wide assessment of operational stress injuries (OSIs) in former public safety personnel. Participation in the survey will not affect your relationships or status with your organization, agencies of public safety and justice more generally, nor with the different universities and university researchers involved in the study. OSIs herein refer to the many different clinically significant symptoms of injury that have historically been called disorders (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, sleep disorders, substance use disorders). We believe these are injuries experienced by public safety personnel that have too often been hidden and insufficiently supported.

Numbers matter. We currently don’t have reliable data on OSI symptom prevalence rates for former Public Safety Personnel. We are counting on you to participate and encourage others to participate because doing so provides evidence for engaging strategies and allocating resources to support mental health for all Public Safety Personnel.

Whatever your mental health, your responses will help everyone in need. Change starts here! Please participate!

For more reasons to participate, please see the attached documents or visit the website at www.cipsrt-icrtsp.ca.

The survey link is also provided below and will take you directly to a secure website that will 1) provide you with more details about the survey and the team and 2) provide instructions on how you can participate anonymously. Assessing traumas and symptoms (Section 1 of 2) takes about 25 to 45 minutes, depending on your responses and your reading speed; thereafter, 25 to 45 minutes of items assess the influence of your work on your mental health and the health of your family, as well as stigma and variables associated with risk and resiliency (Section 2 of 2).You can complete the survey in sections or quit at any time. You will be provided with a unique identification code that will allow you to return to the survey at any time, if you wish to do so. Please do not lose your code.

 

Link to the surveyhttps://uregina.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_007V2NT1G7b0ZVj

 

We sincerely hope you choose to participate, therein supporting yourself and your peers, and allowing us to advocate for appropriate resources to support public safety mental health.

The current research project was approved by your Public Safety leadership teams (e.g., CPA, CACP, CAFC, IAFF, PAC, PCC, RCMP, USGE) as well as the University of Regina Research Ethics Board (File #2016-107; Approval date January 16, 2018). If you have any questions before or during participation about the survey, please feel free to ask by contacting the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) research team at www.cipsrt-icrtsp.ca or by email at cipsrt@uregina.ca or by telephone at 306-337-2473 (out of town participants may call collect), or if required the Research Ethics Board by email at research.ethics@uregina.ca.