This is a federal election topic thanks to MP Todd Doherty 🙏 We have had the panels and conferences which have shown that yes, we need more funding for mental health care for the first responders and their families. And yes, we need to officially track these suicide deaths in Canada. And yes, presumptive legislation needs to be national. And yes, the current system in broken and that first responders are falling through the cracks. Bravo to this woman for shining the light on this crisis more. But when are we actually going to make the changes?
WHAT WE ARE MISSING IS THIS: It’s time that managers and services start being held accountable for the lack of care they provide to these community heroes when they are off of work due to mental illnesses including addiction. IT’S TIME FOR A PUBLIC INQUIRY! We know what we need to do going forward to improve care; so let’s do it. But why are we being so lax on the individuals who were supposed to take care of their own? I can tell you right now, without a doubt, that first responders across Canada are battling alone behind the scenes with corrupt insurance companies and poor (if any) guidance by their services while they try their very best at the same time to battle with the symptoms of their illnesses and injuries. They are being dragged through the mud in order to get help and THIS is causing suicide.
Sanctuary trauma is very real. I actually had a local first responder share this with me the other day: (posted with permission) “I think that they want to wear you down and quit. When you book off looking for help you are at the lowest point of your life. No fight left. My opinion, it’s why people quit or unfortunately take their own lives. More background noise than help. Very draining.” This individual wants to remain anonymous so that they don’t receive backlash for their truthful comments from their employer. The services know that fear for loss of their jobs is keeping many of the first responders off “quiet”. Well, I have nothing to lose. So I’m going to be loud! Enough is enough.