There is much buzz about “PTSD” (let’s call it PTSI) in the media, and now at the Canadian Federal Parliament with a vote March 8, 2017 on Private Members’ Bill C-211.
Any legislation should be all inclusive of people and of all phychological diagnosis’.
Saskatchewan seems to be the only Canadian jurisdiction to get this right. Read media report here about what Saskatchewan is doing.
All people who have advocated for and are supporting Bill C-211 should be congratulated and have acted in good faith. However, we must do this right, and do it right the first time around, not ‘get a foot in the door’.
The reality is that those who experience Post Traumatic Stress see their situation as an ‘injury’, not a ‘disorder’, so the very name of Bill C-211 as the “PTSD Bill” is offensive to many, despite being drafted with the best of intentions.
Paramedics/Ambulance, Police, Fire, Corrections, Military, Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers, and all people who provide services to help others should be included.
There are many other psychological injuries that exist (other than PTSD), and actually are far more common than PTSI. Having stated this, those who suffer from PTSI legitimately experience many challenges every day.
Any legislation should be all inclusive of all psychological injuries, not just PTSI. Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Addictions and several other medical diagnoses affect all people, including first responders, public safety officers and military personnel.
As a cop who has been involved in the mental health system as both a professional and a patient, it is critical to work collaboratively, and language matters. So many of us fall through the cracks in the wording of legislation. This is improving, but we must slow the press down and get the wording absolutely right based on the best and latest reality.
Below are links to several key resources that should be read and understood by all who are advocating for, working in the mental health space, and are patients in this space. In particular, our legislators need to take note of the proper wording and be all inclusive in their approach.
I have talked to psychologists, registered psychotherapists, peer support people, advocates and politicians about this issue, and they all agree that the language must be all inclusive, yet the wording of the current Bill C-211 is not all inclusive, nor is the recent ‘presumptive legislation’ passed in Ontario.
Let’s please collaborate and get this right at the Committee stage. People’s lives will depend on getting it right.
Thanks to everyone who are working hard to achieve success. Let’s not be fooled that the language matters. Let’s just please get this right.
(October/2016) Healthy Minds, Safe Communities. The first substantial report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety & National Security. The report looks at how the government can support public safety officers through a national strategy for Occupational Stress Injuries
Watch debate in House of Commons on Bill C-211 March 6, 2017
Read Ontario’s Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (unfortunately only mentions PTSD)
Mental Health~Resources For Improvement of Services For All ” target=”_blank”>Many resources are collected here on a twitter moment