Provinces take on PTSD issue for first responders

The Canadian Press
August 05, 2014
By The Canadian Press
There is a growing effort across Canada to tackle post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders. British Columbia and Alberta already have laws to make it easier for responders with PTSD to get workers compensation and treatment.
A similar bill is now before the Ontario legislature and the Manitoba government says it's studying the issue.

Vince Savoia, a former paramedic and advocate, says 15 former police officers, firefighters and other responders have taken their own lives since late April.

He says it's time to help people with PTSD come forward and get treatment.

Alex Forrest, the head of the firefighters union in Winnipeg, says PTSD can lead to depression, substance abuse and other problems.

He says he still remembers checking on a colleague who was traumatized by a 2007 house fire that killed two other firefighters.

Forrest says he found his colleague dead in a garage from suicide, holding the pamphlet from the memorial service for the other firefighters.

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