Blue Line

Wayfound to lead national delivery of mental health programming for frontline workers

July 11, 2022  By Blue Line Staff

June 27, 2022, Edmonton, Alta. – Significant funding to provide mental health support to frontline workers across Canada has been announced by Canada’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett.

The commitment features a primary grant of $9.01 million, through the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina, to Wayfound Mental Health Group to deploy its Before Operational Stress (BOS) program to more than 100,000 nurses, paramedics, police officers and others in security roles, firefighters, health aides, physicians and corrections officers.

BOS was developed by Calgary-based Wayfound and has been provided to public safety personnel and frontline workers in partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada since 2018. Researchers at CIPSRT have been independently evaluating the BOS program since 2018 as well. The program links cutting-edge clinical approaches with scientific expertise to support the psychological health and wellness of frontline personnel over the course of their careers.

The funding announcement will see BOS offered in three ways: BOS Online, which participants complete at their own pace; BOS Peer, an eight-week version of the program delivered virtually to groups of frontline workers; and BOS Intensive, eight weeks of two-hour group therapeutic intervention for individuals who would benefit from a more in-depth focus on the material taught in the program.

“The data so far has demonstrated that public safety personnel and frontline workers can learn tools to minimize the psychological impacts of their work, so they can continue to provide the necessary services of their work while maintaining psychological wellness,” said Dr. Megan McElheran, Clinical Psychologist and CEO of Wayfound. “These employees are inevitably exposed to high levels of operational stress, but that does not mean they should be destined to have their lives negatively impacted by the psychological effects of their work.”

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