Understanding the toll your job takes.
UCTE member Karolyn Jones has spent the last several years advocating for the mental health of Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) members. She learnt about a survey conducted by Dr. Nick Carleton, Scientific Director of the National Research Consortium by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment. Located at the University of Regina, Dr. Carleton’s survey examined public safety personnel duty-related mental injury. His research was used by the federal government to develop its $20 million action plan on post-traumatic stress injuries.
Karolyn discovered that the survey did not include CCG or Conservation & Protection (C&P). Even more troubling, she found that CCG and C&P were not represented in Public Safety’s 2016 Ministerial Roundtable on the impacts of PTSD on public safety officers. “It became clear that our members are not included in federal funded research and programs like the Public Safety’s Memorial Grant Program that provides $300,000 to the families of first responders who have died as a result of their job. I don’t think that is right,” she stated.
Karolyn made it her mission to provide our members the same consideration and recognition as other public safety employees. She contacted the authors of the survey at the University of Regina and with the support of Captain Brian Wootton, recently retired Regional Director, Incident Management, received funding through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ competitive Innovation Fund to hire Dr. Carleton to provide a survey to CCG and C&P based on the one completed by over 5000 Canadian public safety workers.
“Due to the unique nature of our work, CCG members are exposed to many things that can negatively impact their mental health,” explained Karolyn. “This survey is the first academic look at the toll our jobs can take on us and our families. The survey is for all of Coast Guard – on shore, on a ship, on a tower, on the computer. We are all public safety employees.”
The Union strongly supports this opportunity to participate in targeted research that is designed for CG and fishery officers. We are asking that all CCG members, past and present, to complete the survey.
It is important to note that the survey will take about 60 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. The data collected will be used to help inform prevention, early intervention, stigma-reduction, care and treatment for impacted personnel across the country.
Please take the time to complete the survey by clicking the link here. You don’t know who you can help.