Wounded Warriors Canada and Ontario Shores Launch New Service to Support Mental Health Needs of First Responders

May 25, 2020
Ontario Shores and Wounded Warriors CanadaOntario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) and Wounded Warriors Canada today announced a new service to meet the growing mental health needs of First Responders.

First Responder Assist builds on the expertise of both organizations and will enhance the culturally specific trauma programs provided by Wounded Warriors Canada. An interprofessional team will be dedicated to serving the psychological needs of First Responders in the province.

This new service offers a number of virtual and in-person (through Wounded Warriors venue partners) prevention and treatment services in the form of individual and couples-based trauma therapy, immediate crisis support, resiliency training, and cognitive behavioural and processing therapies (CBT, CPT). It is anticipated the program will support approximately 200 service members through its first year in operation.

“This is another milestone in our journey with Wounded Warriors Canada,” says Ontario Shores President and CEO Karim Mamdani. “We have heard clearly from First Responder organizations and this government that now is the time to step forward and provide the evidence-based, measured and culturally specific supports First Responders so desperately need.”

Canadian research looking at operational stress injuries among First Responders, which include police, paramedics, firefighters, 911 communicators and corrections officers suggest they are much more likely to develop a mental disorder than the general population. As well, first responders experience Post Traumatic Stress Injuries and Critical Incident Stress at twice the level of the general public.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, says, “Partnerships represent the driving force of our effort to break down barriers to mental health care for Veterans, First Responders and their family members. First Responder Assist is a significant step forward in our partnership with Ontario Shores as we work towards developing a comprehensive, province-wide program to better serve the unique needs of our First Responders and their families in Ontario.”


How to access this service
Referrals are accepted from individuals (self), health professionals, family physicians, nurse practitioners, or current psychiatrists, through our Central Intake department at 1-877-767-9642 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or centralized referral form. For self-referrals, an intake nurse can work with you over the phone to help you complete the referral. Outside of these hours, please use our crisis line at 800.263.2679. Visit www.ontarioshores.ca/firstresponders for more information.


About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.

About Wounded Warriors Canada:
Wounded Warriors Canada is a national mental health service provider that uses clinical best practices and evidence informed care to create an environment of compassion, resiliency and hope for Veterans, First Responders and their family members affected by operational stress injuries.

Media information, please contact:
 

Chris Bovie
External Relations Officer
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6574
Cell: 905-995-2443
boviec@ontarioshores.ca

Matthew Wocks
Director of Communications
Wounded Warriors Canada
Cell: 647-572-4627
matt@woundedwarriors.ca