PTSD Needs to be Taken Seriously in the Workplace

Workplace mental health is beginning to get the attention it deserves, but one area that we still need to work on is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Evidence of this can be found in one of Canada’s own RCMP. The Auditor General will be releasing a report this Tuesday on mental health concerns for the RCMP, and one of the biggest concerns excepted to be discussed is the PTSD officers experience from the traumatic events they deal with.

According to the PTSD Association of Canada, PTSD is ‘a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster and more.’

The Globe and Mail reported that the RCMP has been drastically overhauling it’s mental health strategy since 2013 and is working on training all staff on mental health services by 2018. But people still fall through the cracks.

And the RCMP are not alone. A recent investigation by CBC News found that Data ‘one in 20 employees at federal prisons have been diagnosed with PTSD or other stress injuries since 2011.’

Jeff Wilkins, Atlantic president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, also pointed out that many suffer in silence, so the numbers are probably quiet higher.

But Provinces have been making strides. Last year Manitoba recognized PTSD as a work-related disease, marking the first time that PTSD has been included as an occupational disease by a Workers Compensation Board in Canada.

Alberta already has legislation in place, which allows first responders to receive compensation for PTSD without having to prove their condition is work-related and was the first province in Canada to provide that type of coverage.

It’s clear that more needs to be done when it comes to this mental health issue in workplaces and beyond.