Our first responders face more trauma in a week than most of us will in a lifetime and as a result some are suffering in silence. Suicide due to trauma on the job is a growing problem and one that needs to be addressed now. That is why PC Health Critic and MLA for Charleswood Myrna Driedger introduced a bill to ensure those who are always there for us get services when they need them most.
“We know paramedics, police officers and firefighters suffer much higher instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than most workers do. That is why we must not delay treatment to help them through it before the effects of this terrible condition destroy their lives,” said Driedger.
By introducing presumptive legislation in Bill 205 it allows first responders to receive treatment based on the assumption that they are suffering from PTSD. Studies show 10 percent of first responders suffer PTSD from on-the-job incidents.
“We’re pleased to know that PTSD is a priority for our legislators. Amending the Workers Compensation Board Act to recognize PTSD as a presumptive injury among first response and emergency services personnel will help reduce some of the anxiety that PTSD victims experience. It’s a significant step forward, and together with developing a supportive environment including appropriate education and an emphasis on timely treatment and rehabilitation programs, it validates PTSD as real and complex problem,” said Jodi Possia, Chair, Paramedic Association of Manitoba.
Progressive Conservatives are committed to improving mental health resources and establishing healthy workplaces. We hope the NDP will see the value in this legislation as other jurisdictions in Canada already have adopted similar measures.