Today is historic for mental health awareness in Ontario as, for the first time, the province officially recognizes June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day.
PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that can appear following a traumatic event in one’s life. It can affect victims or witnesses of distressful occurrences such as natural disasters, crimes, or major accidents.
PTSD is more prevalent among individuals in occupations with increased exposure to these types of events, such as first responders and armed forces personnel. The unique workplace stress for first responders can lead to Operational Stress Injuries as well, which include PTSD. Women, refugees and Aboriginal people are also statistically at higher risk.
Last July, Brantford-Brant PC MPP Will Bouma brought forward a private member’s bill in the provincial legislature aiming to proclaim an annual awareness day for PTSD. Bouma’s bill was included in the government’s 2019 omnibus budget bill and received royal assent in May.
CMHA-S/M applauds the government for bringing awareness to a condition that affects many Ontarians, and for continuing to identify mental health as a priority in the health care sector.
CMHA-S/M and CMHA Ontario offer several resources that may help individuals living with PTSD or other mental health issues:
• Mental Health Works workshops
• Mental Health in the Workplace: An Accommodation Guide for Managers and Staff.
Other PTSD-related resources include:
• PTSD Association of Canada
• First Responders First
• Minister of Labour – PTSD Prevention Plans