The government of New Brunswick and Ambulance New Brunswick are partnering with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to bring the Road to Mental Readiness program to paramedics, flight nurses and dispatchers, which will help build resilience against occupational stress injuries.
“Our goal is to be able to provide New Brunswick paramedics and front-line workers with these much-needed skills and tools to recognize a potential issue in themselves and others,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau.
Road to Mental Readiness is a training program originally developed by the Department of National Defence for members of the Canadian Armed Forces that addresses stigmas and identifies the signs and symptoms of occupational stress injuries.
“We are excited about the Road to Mental Readiness program and optimistic for its success,” said Judy Astle, president of local 4848 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the union which represents paramedics and dispatchers.
The training program uses a mental-health continuum model that identifies signs and symptoms associated with four stages of functioning: healthy, reacting, injured and ill. The program also identifies the roles of leaders to shield, sense problems or support staff.
“Our association is pleased to see the Road to Mental Readiness program being offered to our members,” said Phil Comeau, president of the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick. “It will provide our paramedics with some of the skills they need to continually fight the stresses involved in their profession. This program aims at providing the necessary information to demystify mental health illness, and as such seek help when needed.”
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