‘Monumental task’: National effort launched to tackle mental health of public safety workers

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Working in the public safety sector across Canada is not easy — and is often traumatic.

A new research group launched in St. John’s Tuesday to work on a national strategy to support the mental health of the country’s police, paramedics, firefighters, corrections officers and other frontline workers.

“The goal is to increase the education, reduce stigma, build a resilience in responders so we can reduce the number that are impacted by this and certainly bring them earlier stage treatment,” said Steve Palmer, executive director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT).



The organization officially launched Tuesday at Memorial University in St. John’s during the first of a three-day summit presented by Wounded Warriors Canada.

The goal was to come up with concrete ideas for improving the mental and physical health of public safety workers.

“The idea is to get the research going, get the momentum going, get people working together, and find a way to do best by our public safety population,” said Rose Ricciardelli, CIPSRT’s associate director of corrections.


Scientific Director Nicholas Carleton said CIPSRT brings together academic and public safety leaders to create a new national strategy on mental health.

He said it’s a monumental task with a massive team.