Publications

Mental Health Training, Attitudes Toward Support, and Screening Positive for Mental Disorders (2019)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “I Want Help, But Not From You: Public Safety Personnel and Mental Health Programs and Support

Public safety personnel were asked about their experience with mental health training, their attitudes about mental health, and the types of assistance they were willing to use if they had a workplace mental health issue. Results showed that PSP are most willing to rely on their spouse or friends for mental health support, and would only consider using an Employee Assistance Program as a last resort. There needs to be more research done in order to better understand why PSP access mental health training and the effect it may have on certain types of mental health disorders. This study also shows that more training and resource support for PSP family members and leadership may be needed.

Carleton, R.N., Afifi, T.O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Vaughan, A.D., Anderson, G.S., Ricciardelli, R., MacPhee, R.S., Cramm, H.A., Czarnuch, S., Hozempa, K., & Camp, R.D. (2019). Mental health training, attitudes toward support, and screening positive for mental disorders. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, pp.1-19. doi:10.1080/16506073.2019.1575900

Exposures to Potentially Traumatic Events Among Public Safety Personnel in Canada (2019)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “How Much Trauma is Too Much? Public Safety Personnel and Exposure to Traumatic Events

First responders and other public safety personnel in Canada may be experiencing substantial difficulties with symptoms of mental health disorders. These difficulties may be associated with increased exposure to potentially traumatic events as part of working in public safety, with specific types of events appearing as particularly problematic.

Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Taillieu, T., Turner, S., Krakauer, R., Anderson, G. S., MacPhee, R. S., Ricciardelli, R, Cramm, H. A., Groll, D., & McCreary, D. R. (2019). Exposures to potentially traumatic events among public safety personnel in Canada. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 51(1), 37-52. doi: 10.1037/cbs0000115

Association Between a History of Child Abuse and Suicidal Ideation, Plans and Attempts among Canadian Public Safety Personnel: A Cross-Sectional Survey (2018)

Full publication

Public safety personnel experience substantial mental health problems strongly associated with suicide. This study was designed to explore associations between childhood abuse, career-related trauma, and suicidal behaviours. While career-related trauma was significantly associated with suicidal behaviours, experiencing child abuse was found to have an even stronger effect, supporting the recognition of childhood abuse as an important factor related to suicidal behaviours among public safety personnel.

Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Carleton, R. N., Sareen, J., & Afifi, T. (2018). Association between a history of child abuse and suicidal ideation, plans and attempts among Canadian public safety personnel: A cross-sectional survey. Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, 6(4), E463-E470. doi:10.9778/cmajo.20170153

Playing the System: Structural Factors Potentiating Mental Health Stigma, Challenging Awareness, and Creating Barriers to Care for Canadian Public Safety Personnel (2018)

Full Publication

Why does help-seeking for employment-related mental health concerns become unacceptable? This research looks at the open-ended final comments provided by over 828 Canadian PSP as part of a larger online survey designed to assess the prevalence of mental disorders among PSP. Based on these results, it appears that organizational culture and structures may play a role in 1) influencing PSP decision-making to seek mental health care, 2) how PSP who do seek care are viewed by their colleagues, and 3) encouraging PSP to minimize their personal mental health needs. In particular, there was widespread participant suspicion that coworkers who took the time to address their mental health needs were “abusing the system.”

Ricciardelli, R., Carleton, R. N., Mooney, T., & Cramm, H. (2018). Playing the system: Structural factors potentiating mental health stigma, challenging awareness, and creating barriers to care for Canadian public safety personnel. Health. doi:10.1177/1363459318800167

A Longitudinal Assessment of the Road To Mental Readiness Training Among Municipal Police (2018)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “Road to Mental Readiness in a Canadian Police Sample

The current study was designed to evaluate the effects of a single session of R2MR training on municipal police mental health, work engagement, resiliency, mental health knowledge, and stigma. Despite the current results being mixed, leaders may choose to believe any reductions in stigma to be worthwhile and may choose to believe that trainees’ positive perceptions of R2MR regarding attitude change and communication justify any associated investment.

Carleton, R. N., Korol, S., Mason, J. E., Hozempa, K., Anderson, G. S., Jones, N. A., Dobson, K. S., Szeto, A. & Bailey, S. (2018). A longitudinal assessment of the road to mental readiness training among municipal police. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 47(6), 508-528. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2018.1475504

Mental Disorder Symptoms Among Public Safety Personnel in Canada (2017)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “Mental Disorder Symptoms among Public Safety Personnel in Canada

Canadian public safety personnel are exposed to potentially traumatic events as a function of their work. Such exposures contribute to the risk of developing clinically significant symptoms related to mental disorders. The current study was designed to provide estimates of mental disorder symptom frequencies and severities for Canadian PSP.

Carleton, R. N, Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Tallieu, T., Duranceau, S., LeBouthillier, D. M., Sareen, J., Ricciardelli, R., MacPhee, R., Groll, D., Hozempa, K., Brunet, A., Weekes, J. R., Griffiths, C. T., Abrams, K. J., Jones, N. A., Beshai, S., Cramm, H. A., Dobson, K. S., Hatcher, S., Keane, T. M., Stewart, S. H., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2017). Mental disorder symptoms among public safety personnel in Canada. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 63(1), 54-64. doi: 10.1177/0706743717723825

Suicidal Ideation, Plans, and Attempts Among Public Safety Personnel in Canada (2018)

Full Publication

The current study was designed to assess past-year and lifetime suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts amongst a large diverse sample of Canadian PSP. Significant differences were identified across PSP categories in reports of past-year and lifetime suicidal behaviours.

Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., LeBouthillier, D. M., Duranceau, S., Sareen, J., Ricciardelli, R., MacPhee, R. S., Groll, D., Hozempa, K., Brunet, A., Weekes, J. R., Griffiths, C. T., Abrams, K. J., Jones, N. A., Beshai, S., Cramm, H. A., Dobson, K. S., Hatcher, S., Keane, T. M., Stewart, S. H., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2018). Suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts among public safety personnel in Canada. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 59(3), 220-231. doi: 10.1037/cap0000136

Anxiety-Related Psychopathology and Chronic Pain Comorbidity Among Public Safety Personnel (2018)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “A Brief Review of Anxiety-Related Psychopathology and Chronic Pain Comorbidity among Public Safety Personnel

Public safety personnel appear to be at risk for mental disorders and pain. The results indicated PSP who reported chronic pain were significantly more likely to screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or alcohol use disorder. There were differences between PSP categories; but, the most consistent indications of coexistence were for chronic pain, PTSD, and major depressive disorder. Coexistence of chronic pain and mental disorders among PSP is prevalent. Health care providers should regularly assess PSP for both symptom domains.

Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Taillieu, T., Turner, S., El-Gabalawy, R., Sareen, J., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2018). Anxiety-related psychopathology and chronic pain comorbidity among public safety personnel. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 55, 48-55. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.03.006

Psychological Health and Safety in the Paramedic Service Organization (2018)

Full Publication

This Standard provides paramedic service organizations and other key stakeholders with requirements and guidance on good practice for the identification and assessment of hazards and management of psychological health and safety (PHS) risks for paramedic service organizations and the promotion of improved psychological health and safety.

Canadian Standards Association. (2018). Psychological health and safety in the paramedic service organization (Standard No. CSA Z-1003.1-18). Toronto, Ont.: Canadian Standards Association.

Qualitatively Unpacking Canadian Public Safety Personnel Experiences of Trauma and Their Well-Being: Physical Manifestations, Psychological Implications, and Fatalistic Attitudes (2018)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “Public Safety Personnel in Their Own Words: Asking for Support with Mental Health

Public safety personnel report experiencing extensive trauma, directly and vicariously, acutely and cumulatively. The effects of this trauma on personnel and their family members are reported as physical, psychological, and social or interpersonal impacts, as well as marital breakdown and relationship dissolution with children, and increased family stress, strain, and anger. PSP also reported they felt that nothing would change, that they had no voice, and that both their employer and the different levels of government did not care about their well-being.

Ricciardelli, R., Carleton, R. N., Groll, D., & Cramm, H. (2018). Qualitatively unpacking Canadian public safety personnel experiences of trauma and their well-being. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 60(4), 566-577. doi: 10.3138/cjccj.2017-0053.r2

Chronic Pain Among Public Safety Personnel in Canada (2017)

Full Publication

Lay Summary “Chronic Pain among Public Safety Personnel in Canada

Public safety personnel were asked to evaluate their mental and physical wellbeing, including whether they were currently experiencing chronic pain. Survey results show that not only do Canadian PSP experience more chronic pain than the average Canadian, but experiencing chronic pain appears to be linked to experiencing a mental health disorder, such as PTSD, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and alcohol use disorder.

Carleton, R. N., Afifi, T. O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., El-Gabalawy, R., Sareen, J., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2017). Chronic pain among public safety personnel in Canada. Canadian Journal of Pain, 1(1), 237-246. doi: 10.1080/24740527.2017.1410431

An Integrated Approach to Mental Health in First Responders and Other Public Safety Personnel: A Five-Phase Plan – Strathcona County Emergency Services (2017)

Full Publication

Strathcona County Disability Management explored service standards and programs to address an increase in lost hours and costs due to mental illness, including operational stress injuries, in an effort to apply best practices with regards to mental health. Resistance, resiliency and recovery are supported through Disability Management, prompt access to evidence-based care and a culturally competent provider, Peer Support, a Chaplaincy, and Employee and Family Assistance programming, as well as access to counselling services through extended health care benefits and third- party providers. Advancements made to date have prompted significant cultural change with respect to stigma reduction and increasing help-seeking behaviour. Further, costs associated with WCB-AB claims due to Occupational Stress Injury (OSI) were reduced to zero in 2015, in 2016, and in 2017 to date.

Strathcona County Emergency Services. (2017). An integrated approach to mental health in first responders and other public safety personnel: A five-phase plan. Sherwood Park, AB: Strathcona County.

Critical Incident Reintegration Program – Edmonton Police (2017)

Full Publication

A streamlined, peer-driven return-to-work program for police officers and other public safety personnel, featuring an interactive process of dealing with the stress of a critical incident. The program has two variants: short term and long term.

Edmonton Police Service. (2017). Critical incident reintegration program. Edmonton, AB: Edmonton Police Service.

Peer Support and Crisis-Focused Psychological Intervention Programs in Canadian First Responders: Blue Paper (2016)

Full Publication

Executive Summary

There is an urgent need for more research on the effectiveness of peer support and crisis-focused psychological intervention programs designed to help public service personnel cope with work trauma. The operational stressors, which include death, violence, and threats to their own lives, put PSP at risk for psychological challenges, including post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and anger. Such challenges can lead to other problems, such as substance abuse, relationship difficulties, and absenteeism.

Beshai, S., & Carleton, R. N. (2016). Peer support and crisis-focused psychological intervention programs in Canadian first responders: Blue Paper. Regina, SK: University of Regina Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety. Available from: http://www.justiceandsafety.ca/rsu_docs/blue_paper_full_web_final_production_aug_16_2016.pdf