Ontario plan to help first responders deal with PTSD

TORONTO - Ontario is launching a plan to help first responders deal with the impact of post traumatic stress disorder, which the government calls a serious and debilitating injury.

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Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the stress and danger faced by police, firefighters and ambulance attendants can have a lasting and serious effect not only on their physical health, but their mental health as well.

Flynn says Ontario will be a leader in helping them deal with PTSD with an approach that will include both preventative and legislative measures, as well as grants to better understand triggers and optimal prevention techniques.

The province will launch a public advertising campaign to increase awareness of PTSD and reduce the stigma association with it, which the labour minister calls one of the biggest challenges in hindering effective treatment.

Flynn says the fear of being perceived as weak or damaged leaves too many to suffer alone, so he wants people to talk openly about it to support and educate one another.

He says the government is looking at coverage for first responders with PTSD under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, promises legislation in the very near future to help those with work-related PTSD injuries.



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