County of Simcoe Paramedic Services teams up with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program

News release -from the County of Simcoe

County of Simcoe Paramedic Services (CSPS) is proud to support the St. John Ambulance (SJA) Therapy Dog Program through a donation of $2,500 and a partnership supporting the mental health of CSPS paramedics.

This St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program (also known as Support Dogs) is another component of the Mental Health program that will be available to all County of Simcoe Paramedics Services staff. The program will assist Paramedics in real time, and through scheduled visits for continued support for the mental health of CSPS Paramedics. The SJA Therapy Dog Program will begin with a therapy dog and their handler (teams) to visit Stations starting May 23 during Paramedic Services Week. Visits will be scheduled to coincide with evening shift changes, allowing Paramedics to have a short visit to support their mental health.

About the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program
It is the mission of this Support Dog Initiative to use the unique skill set of the program volunteers and their dogs as leaders in service delivery excellence through a professional, knowledgeable, compassionate and inclusive approach to support the CSPS staff’s mental health. Every staff member experiences the challenges and impacts of the profession of paramedicine in a unique way. Each person needs a safe, secure, caring, inclusive, supportive and nonjudgmental environment to understand these experiences and feelings. Research suggests that Support Dogs can have positive benefits for individuals who have experienced trauma. As such, CSPS and SJA have agreed to this Support Dog Initiative to offer CSPS Staff an opportunity to have access to mental health support of Support Dogs from SJA Therapy Dog Program.

About the County of Simcoe
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

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