MPs urge Ottawa to help first responders with PTSD

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An all-party committee of MPs is urging the federal government to take action on behalf of public safety officers and first responders who develop mental health problems after experiencing traumatic events.

In a unanimous report the House of Commons public safety committee recommends the federal government come up with a national strategy for post-traumatic stress disorder and operational stress injuries.


Several witnesses who appeared before the committee recommended the federal government “explore the possibility” of following the lead of provinces such as Ontario, which have brought in presumptive legislation for their first responders.

The law ensures that when those workers are diagnosed with PTSD, it is automatically accepted that their illness is the result of trauma experienced on the job. Otherwise, first responders must spend time proving to their employer that their work made them sick.