University of Regina to study effects of job on mental health of Mounties
REGINA — The University of Regina has been commissioned to study the effects of policing on the mental health of RCMP officers.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the announcement Friday at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division in Regina.
The federal government says the purpose of the 10-year study is to identify psychological and physiological signs of trauma and stress-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress.
Researchers will get data from wearable technology, annual psychological assessments and self-reporting measures.
Participation is voluntary and all data will be given anonymously, to protect the privacy of the RCMP member.
The government says the results will help the RCMP develop long-term plans to support the mental health of its members and will be valuable to other public safety organizations, including police services, firefighters and paramedics.
“Post-traumatic stress injuries, and other operational stress injuries, disproportionately affect police officers —people who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and secure,” Goodale said in a news release.
“We are committed to providing RCMP officers with the mental-health support they need to recover. The results of this study will help us better understand the problem and provide better support.”
Public Safety Canada says the contract was awarded following a competitive process and is valued at up to approximately $8.9 million for the first three years of the study.
It also says the RCMP has various prevention and intervention measures to improve psychological health and safety for all of its employees, but the force continues to lose the services of many members as a result of mental-health related issues.
The government says 41.7 per cent of long-term disability claims for RCMP regular members no longer with the force in 2014 were related to mental health conditions.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2017
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