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Manitoba Government dedicating three mental health workers for first responders

April 22, 2024  By Government of Manitoba

Apr. 22, 2024, Winnipeg, Man. – The Manitoba government is stepping up to improve access to trauma-informed support services for first responders across the province, Premier Wab Kinew announced today.

“First responders are there for Manitobans when they need help the most, and we need to be there for them,” said Kinew. “Firefighters, paramedics, and police officers are exposed to traumatic and sometimes dangerous situations, and we’re committed to making sure they have more support when they need it.”

As an initial step, the province is ensuring that first responders across Manitoba will be able to receive mental health support by dedicating three counsellors to work with firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement, the premier noted.

“First responders are there for Manitobans during an emergency and over time, that takes a toll on their mental health,” said David Pankratz, special envoy for military affairs. “The tragic death of Winnipeg firefighter Preston Heinbigner has only highlighted the need for more support for our first responders. I know firsthand how tough being a firefighter and paramedic can be on your mental health. We need to continue to reduce the stigma around post-traumatic stress and remove barriers for people to access support.”


The premier added that since 2016, if a worker in Manitoba is exposed to certain types of traumatic events and is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Workers Compensation Board can presume the PTSD is caused by the worker’s employment.

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