June 27, 2016 marked the first official Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness day in Alberta.
The private members bill was brought forward by MLA Nicole Goehring and received unanimous support in the legislature.
RCMP Inspector Gibson Glavin says the conversation around PTSD is an important conversation to have, and the disorder is something that’s been in the forefront of the force’s mind for the last few years.
“We have had a programs since 2014 that was a very aggressive mental health strategy for the RCMP that made it much more accessible for members of the RMCP, employees of the RCMP to get help if they felt they were in need,” Glavin said.
The program also offers channels for colleagues to come forward if they feel another officer is suffering PTSD.
Training has also been introduced that allows officers to recognize if a member of the public is suffering from PTSD.
“We want to be able to deal with them in a much more effective way so we’re able to get them help, and not cause any more difficulty or problems for them.”
In May Goehring said her bill was all the more important with the uncertainty surrounding the Fort McMurray fire.
“PTSD, unfortunately, can affect anyone but it has a higher ability to impact those on the front line,” Goehring said at the time. “So, our firefighters that are out there right now that are fighting the fires, our first responders, and our military all of those people have a higher risk of developing PTSD.”
June 27th is also recognized at PTSD Awareness Day in the United States. (kb)