Public safety personnel (PSP) are repeatedly exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events in the course of their daily work. The exposures put PSP at risk for mental health impacts and severe psychological difficulties, known as posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI).

In 2015, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was given a mandate to develop an action plan on a specific PTSI, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A component of that action plan was to strengthen the collective understanding of PTSI through research. CIPSRT and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) have formed a consortium on PTSI among PSP. The consortium is designed to support increased development of the evidence base relating to PTSI among PSP. CIPSRT serves as the knowledge exchange hub for the consortium efforts, facilitating engagement between the research community and many diverse PSP stakeholders.

In March 2019, CIHR awarded 22 PTSI Catalyst Grants totaling $2.95 million to researchers across the country as part of the collective effort to improve our understanding of the policies, programs, and treatments designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of PSP, their leadership, and their families. Results from the CIHR PTSI Catalyst Grants will help to advance our collective capacity to support the mental health of PSP. The grants serve as springboards for research and engagement that will increase our understanding of how to identify, treat, and reduce PTSI in PSP.

CIPSRT will be spotlighting each of the Catalyst Grant projects and their Principal Investigators in the coming months. Each brief profile is designed to highlight the work that is being done to help the PSP across Canada.

Serving and Surviving: Roads to resilience in policing
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Development and validation of a mental health screening tool for public safety personnel
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Evaluation of a training program to protect firefighters’ mental health from the effects of traumatic incidents
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Psychological first aid for emergency medical technicians: Can it work?
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