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Online Mental Health Support Program Pspnet Wll Receive Funding From The Government of Quebec

Press Release

MONTREAL, Feb. 8, 2024 – The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) is pleased to announce that its Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy service, PSPNET, for the province’s first responders and other public safety personnel (PSP) will now be funded in part by the Public Security Ministry of Quebec. Thanks to this financial support of 750 000$, current and former members of the province’s PSP, such as border services officers, public safety communicators, correctional workers, firefighters (career and volunteer), Indigenous emergency managers, operational intelligence personnel, paramedics, police (municipal, provincial, federal), and search and rescue personnel, will continue to have access to this service free of charge.

The PSPNET program has been running in Quebec for over 3 years, treating and supporting more than 400 people for mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder with their therapist-assisted and self-guided courses. The program is designed and tailored specifically for PSP who are confronted daily with traumatic events in the course of their duties.

Individually tailored, confidential services are easily accessible online or by phone, anytime and anywhere PSP feel comfortable and secure.

Quotes

” We have a duty to take care of those who work every day to protect us, in conditions that are often difficult and unpredictable. Wearing a uniform doesn’t protect anyone from psychological stress, quite the opposite, which is why I think it’s so important to offer health services tailored to their specific needs.” – François Bonnardel, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Estrie region.

“The partnership we have developed with the Quebec government will enable a greater number of PSP to have access to the service and to a psychologist within approximately 48 hours. We’re proud to be able to continue accompanying them through difficult times, which have a real impact on their mental health. » – Dr. Amélie Fournier, senior clinical psychologist in Québec for PSPNET (CIPSRT).

“The announcement of this partnership with the Quebec government assures that PSP in Quebec continue to receive vital support for their mental health and wellbeing. Supporting PSP in this way is essential so that can continue to protect and serve Quebecers.” – Dr. Leslie Anne Keown, Executive Director of CIPSRT.

“Taking care of your mental health is essential for any police officer. The Police Personnel Assistance Program (PAPP), a joint program that does so much for our members in Montreal, proves that the PSPNET, offered to all public safety and emergency personnel, is necessary and can save lives.” – Yves Francoeur, President of the Montreal Police Brotherhood.

“We are delighted to welcome this news, which ensures the continuity of this service. The goal is always to help and take care of those who, on a daily basis, take care of others.” – François Lemay, President of the Fédération des policiers et policières municipaux du Québec.

“Paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers need fast, flexible access to mental health services. These services must consider the specific nature of their daily lives and be developed and delivered by qualified personnel. This is what is offered by the PSPNET program, to which our employees and their families have been referred for the past few years. This agreement will enable us to consolidate the assistance we provide to them, which is just as vital as the care they provide to the general public. – Mathieu Campbell, Assistant Executive Director, Urgences-santé.

“Since firefighters are exposed to many tragic situations in the course of their work, it is important that they have rapid access to psychological support services. PSPNET provides them with free, confidential support and adapted tools to help them overcome these traumatic events, while preserving their mental health.” – Denis Doucet, Vice-President, Health, Safety and Labour Relations, Association des gestionnaires en sécurité incendie et civile du Québec (AGSICQ).

“Accessibility to these services is essential for our members because of the distances that separate us from the major centers where the services we need are often located.” – Shawn Dulude, First Nations and Inuit Chiefs of Police Association of Quebec.

“Finally, an accessible and specialized platform to help front-line workers who, every day, have to deal with the unexpected. Many of our members have already used the service, which is easy to access, fast and above all effective. Their feedback has been excellent, and they recommend it to their colleagues without hesitation. Thank you for putting the mental health of correctional officers at the forefront and helping us to be better equipped to deal with the realities of our job.” – Mylaine Bolduc-Lemieux, First Vice-President, Occupational Health and Safety, Syndicat des agents de la paix en services correctionnels du Québec.

The program

  • In addition to the initial and ongoing funding support provided by Public Safety Canada, $750,000 is being invested in the program over 3 years by the Government of Quebec.
  • The program was developed a by team of expert researchers and clinicians at the University of Regina, led by Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, one of Canada’s leaders in ICBT.
  • Outcomes in Quebec and the rest of Canada identify:
    • More than 90% report increased confidence in managing their mental health challenges, including symptoms of posttraumatic stress injuries.
    • More than 95% believe PSPNET was worth their time and would refer the service to a friend.
  • PSPNET is designed to provide free and confidential access for first responders and other PSP who:
    • self-report challenges with anxiety, depression, or other posttraumatic stress injuries;
    • are 18 years of age or older;
    • are comfortable using and have access to the internet;
    • are willing to provide a local medical contact in case of emergencies; and
    • live in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, or Saskatchewan.
  • For more information or to inquire about how to subscribe to the program, please visit www.pspnet.ca or contact the PSPNET team by email (pspnet@uregina.ca) or phone (306-337-7233 or 1-833-317-7233).

About the University of Regina

The University of Regina, located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,000 students study within the University’s 10 faculties. The university has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

SOURCE PSPNET

For further information: Geneviève Bordeleau, 514-318-2737, genevieve@ryanap.com

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