The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
Mental health is an important component of a person’s overall health, regardless of the type of occupation he or she is in. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression affect many Canadians, and even affect our first responders including our paramedics and emergency dispatchers.
Recently, the Toronto Ombudsman, Fiona Crean released a report, “Making the Strong Stronger- An Investigation into how The Toronto Paramedic Services Address Operational Stress Injuries”.
An operational stress injury (OSI) according to the report, is a term used to describe “any persistent psychological difficulties arising from activities performed in the line of duty, including anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug dependency, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” and the report explains that the term is more of “a cultural characterization, intended to convey that the brain and mind, along with the body, can become injured”.
Post- traumatic stress disorder is one of the better known types of operation stress injuries.
It is noted that the TPS has had an in-house psychologist for 29 years and is the only paramedic service in Canada to do so as well as a well-known Peer Resource Team consisting of a group of TPS staff available to support their colleagues in need.
In preparing for the Ombudsman’s report, paramedics and dispatchers were interviewed and they reported to the investigators that stigma prevents them from asking for help because they are afraid of showing weakness, referring to a “suck it up” attitude.
The report includes 26 recommendations, (which the Toronto Paramedic Services (TPS) has accepted and will implement) such as:
Aaron Waxman & Associates is a proud sponsor of The Tema Conter Memorial Trust (TEMA), which is an organization founded by a paramedic who wanted to help other first responders dealing with PTSD and OSI, and to let them know that, “Heroes are Human”. TEMA is a Canada wide organization that provides peer-support, family assistance and training for Canada’s public safety and military personnel dealing with operational stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced short-term and long-term disability lawyers. The firm offers a free, no obligation initial consultation and our lawyers are available to meet or speak in person, by telephone or via Skype.
* This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please read our disclaimer for further information.
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