Affiliates may have noted an e-mail from the IAFF Tuesday with information about free mental health resources for first responders via telephone.
These particular resources, funded by the U.S. government, are available to American IAFF members only.
The IAFF Canadian Office is in the process of reaching out to the Minister of Public Safety to discuss the development of national telephone or online resources for Canadian first responders and will update local affiliate leaders regularly on this important initiative.
The Canadian Office also suggests that locals refer to their respective provincial associations to see what first-responder-specific mental health resources may be available to members at the provincial level.
Additionally, the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) is in the process of coordinating a national multi-agency, multi-phased clinical plan to provide resources on their website. In the meantime, CIPSRT has compiled a list of mental health resources in each province here. In addition, the Canadian Psychological Association has identified psychologists who are willing to donate some of their time to provide psychological services to front line health care providers. For more information, please visit: https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/psychservices/
CIPSRT also provides anonymous online self-assessment tools to help identify symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Please refer to this site for access: https://ax1.cipsrt-icrtsp.ca/
For members in Saskatchewan, there is a clinical research unit at the University of Regina that offers an Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) support program called PSPNET. It is designed to improve depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress injuries and is available to access at https://www.pspnet.ca/
The program is eight weeks long and offered with optional weekly therapist support.
Please watch for updates on this important issue or contact the Canadian Office or your IAFF District Vice President if you have any question about mental health resources for your members.