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PeerOnCall as a catalyst for a peer support program based on psychological first aid: A feasibility study among the Sûreté du Québec

Keywords: PeerOnCall, Public Safety Personnel (PSP)


The Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Quebec’s provincial police, has been looking for a psychological intervention protocol to support members who experience potentially traumatic events. Psychological first aid (PFA) delivered by peers was identified as a promising approach for mitigating post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI). However, barriers to sustainability were identified:

  1. Time and distance constraints hindered access to peer helpers;
  2. Stigma surrounding mental health problems discouraged help-seeking;
  3. Lack of knowledge on PTSI made police officers unaware of their psychological needs; and,
  4. Limited financial and human resources made it difficult to support peer helpers.

To overcome these barriers, PeerOnCall mobile application will be introduced during the large-scale implementation of the PFA program at the SQ.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Co-create culturally relevant PFA content for PeerOnCall;
  2. Assess the usage of PeerOnCall in randomized units of the SQ; and,
  3. Assess PeerOnCall’s limited efficacy on PTSI awareness and peer support seeking.

This project will provide important, culturally relevant findings that could inform the adaptation and scaling of PeerOnCall to other francophone public safety organizations, as well as a future randomized control trial that could assess PeerOnCall’s efficacy on PTSI mitigation.

Principle Investigator

Steve Geoffrion, University of Montreal


Geneviève St-Hilaire, Delphine Collin-Vézina, Christine Genest, Sandra Moll, and Rose Ricciardelli

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