WALKING THE BEAT: Queen’s Park Providing Enhanced Mental Health Care to Provincial Officers

No Timeline or Cost Established Yet

New Mental Health supports are expected from the province amid what is being called a crisis at the OPP.

Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services was in Barrie Friday to announce a new integrated support program to help OPP personnel with work-related stresses and post-traumatic stress disorder. “The unique challenges and demands our brave men and women in uniform experience on the job when protecting our communities can have a severe impact on their mental health and emotional wellbeing” said Jones at the Ontario Provincial Police Association Office on Ferris Lane, “The commitment we are making today, in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police Association, will address a mental health crisis in the OPP.”

Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Speaking at the Barrie OPPA office

The program is expected to feature an integrated emergency network designed to provide: 

  • A one-stop approach to care so individuals can be connected to the most appropriate mental health supports and services as easily and quickly as possible.
  • A confidential and personalized experience from beginning to end with continuous support and guidance throughout the process.
  • Access to employee and family assistance programs, children and seniors-focused support services, tele-health support, crisis intervention specialists such as registered nurses or psychiatrists and mental health treatment facilities.

OPPA President Rob Jamieson was on hand for the announcement, calling it much needed.  “On a regular basis, our members are asked to willingly subject themselves to traumatic events,” said Jamieson. “The resources currently in place to assist our members and their families are insufficient to address the mental health crisis that currently exists in the OPP. This integrated and comprehensive mental health program, which is being fully funded by the government and run by the OPPA, represents a decisive first step in addressing the single largest issue facing our active and retired members. The commitment made today by our partners in government goes well beyond any mental health resources presently available.”

OPPA President Rob Jamieson

Jones says the province has issued a Request for Proposals from service providers interested in participating, and thus cannot comment on a timeline for when the program will be up and running, or how much it will cost.