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HomeBase: Enhancing mental wellness in public safety personnel families

Keywords: Families, PTSI

Summary

The negative effects of potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTE) experienced by public safety personnel (PSP) can spill over into their family lives. Families of PSP also contend with lifestyle aspects like shiftwork and sleep disruption. Little is known about the specific experiences of PSP families, but there are lessons that can be drawn from the research done with military families.

In the current study, the research team will work with representatives from PSP, PSP organizations, and family organizations. The study will take place in two phases. First, the team will analyze existing PSP organizational and community supports for families and investigate what families need to deal with posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI) and PSP lifestyles. The findings from phase one will be synthesized to create priority statements.

Secondly, the team will work with the PSP-family community to identify which priority statements are unique to, and common across the different PSP sectors. This will allow the team to develop family-focused resources and tailor the recommendations for different PSP sectors.

Future directions

The family-focused resources will be shared throughout the PSP community to help enhance the mental wellness of PSP and their families.

Principal Researchers

Heidi Cramm, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University; Nora Spinks, CEO and team lead at the Vanier Institute of the Family; Joy McDermid, Professor of Physical Therapy at Western University; Alyson Mahar, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at University of Manitoba; Deborah Norris, Professor of Family Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.

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