Victoria Fire Department Tackles Mental Health

The Victoria Fire Department is partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to provide resiliency training and support for first responders. Due to increased exposure to distressing situations and repetitive traumatic events, more and more first responders are experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. 13 Victoria Fire Department members have become certified as instructors through CMHA and can deliver programs to firefighters throughout the Capital Region.

The trained instructors work with a local mental health professional to lead first responders through skill building workshops, which provide comprehensive information on trauma, mental health problems, and resiliency. The goal is to give first responders a personal toolkit to increase mental health literacy, encourage early access to care, and strengthen the psychological health of first responders. The training benefits both personal and workplace relationships and encourages discussion on mental and physical wellbeing.

All members of the Victoria Fire department will receive the first round of training by the end of 2017 and it will continue annually.

More information can be found here.