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Development and validation of a mental health screening tool for public safety personnel

Keywords: Mental Health, PTSI, screening tools

Dr. Greg Anderson

Title of Research

Development and validation of a mental health screening tool for public safety personnel

Summary

The risk of developing post-traumatic stress Injuries (PTSI) appears high within public safety personnel (PSP).  Despite great interest in improving PSP mental health, there is currently a significant research gap on the effectiveness of mental health strategies for mitigation and treatment of PTSI in PSP. There is also a lack of mental health screening tools specifically designed for PSP. The project team will use existing assessment measures work to develop a very brief screening tool that may help PSP self-identify their current mental health status and inform whether they may need a more detailed assessment. The study will use statistical analyses to build the initial tool and then to compare results from the screening tool with the results from structured interview assessments by clinical psychologists. The comparisons will allow for initial scientific validation.

The study participants come from multiple PSP sectors (e.g., corrections, fire, paramedics, police). Once validated the tool will be made available for online or offline use by PSP, mental health care providers, primary care physicians, mental wellness program providers, or other relevant purposes. Having a brief tool available may allow PSP to self-identify their mental health needs, seek help sooner for a PTSI when necessary, and streamline stepped care engagement decisions for program providers.

Research team

Dr. Greg Anderson; Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, professor of psychology at the University of Regina. Dr. Carleton is also the Scientific Director of CIPSRT; Dr. Dianne Groll, associate professor in the department of Psychiatry, Queens University

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