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Before operational stress: Evaluating novel psychosocial interventions for public safety personnel (PSP) and their families

Keywords: BOS program, Families, Operational Stress, Public Safety Personnel


Public safety personnel (PSP) experience higher rates of operational stress. Operational stress can come from situations like traumatic events, threats to personal safety, and witnessing violence. The prevalence rates for posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI)—from 8% to 32%—are not encouraging. PSP are not the only ones affected by these stressors. Children and spouses in PSP homes also experience the effects of operational stress. However, the mental health supports available to PSP are rarely available to their family members.

The current study hopes to improve both PSP and PSP-family mental health and well-being using a clinician-delivered Before Operational Stress (BOS) program. This study will also evaluate a new method of measuring participant program response via wearable technology.

Future directions

If successful, the program would prove another support method for PSP and PSP-family mental health and well-being.

Principal Researchers

Kelly Schwartz, Associate Professor of Applied Child Psychology at University of Calgary; Megan McElheran, a psychologist specializing in PSP; Alan McLuckie, Associate Professor of Social Work at University of Calgary; Carly McMorris, Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at University of Calgary.

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