Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Alberta government investing $1.5 million in first responders mental health support

By CFF Staff   

Headlines News Hot Topics mental health

May 14, 2024, Alberta — Alberta’s government is providing $1.5 million to 13 non-profit organizations and six researchers through the Supporting Psychological Health in First Responders program to support emergency worker’s mental health, the province announced in a press release.

The organizations receiving these grants provide first responders with or at risk for post-traumatic stress injuries with the support services they need.

“Alberta’s first responders and emergency workers protect our lives and communities every day, often at a cost to their mental health and well-being,” said Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Trade Matt Jones in a statement. “These grants will help alleviate some of the suffering first responders and emergency workers living with post-traumatic stress injuries face by supporting improved services and valuable applied research.”

Police officers, peace officers, correctional workers, paramedics, and firefighters suffer PTSIs at significantly higher rates than the general population, said the release.

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Between 2019 and 2023, there were 1,418 Workers’ Compensation Board claims for first responders related to PTSI. These claims cost more than $227 million and represent the suffering and challenges faced by Alberta’s heroes, their families, friends, and communities.

Services provided by the SPHIFR include peer support, resilience training for workers and caregivers, and drop-in support groups for first responders.

The grants also support applied research on topics such as identifying stressors in emergency dispatchers and developing reintegration programs for first responders returning to work after suffering a PTSI.


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