NDP launch campaign for automatic PTSD coverage for emergency responders

March 17, 2015

(Sackville, NS) NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson has launched a public campaign to ensure emergency responders are automatically covered for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

In September 2014, Wilson introduced a bill that would guarantee PTSD coverage for paramedics, nurses, correctional officers, social workers, police officers and other emergency responders. At the time, the McNeil government refused to allow the bill to proceed to law amendments but did promise to set up an all-party committee to explore the issue – that never happened.

“My request is simple,” Wilson said. “If an emergency responder receives a medical diagnosis of PTSD they should receive automatic coverage. As it currently stands, that is not the case and as a result some people are unable to get the support they need. As a province we need to support those who support us.”

Courtney McNeil, an RN, is supportive of the campaign. “Not only will the legislation provide better support to those living with post-traumatic stress disorder but the campaign will also bring much needed attention the stigma of PTSD. Many front-line workers feel a lot of guilt or shame around PTSD – they’re so often told it’s ‘just part of the job.’ No one should have to suffer in silence.”

As part of the campaign the NDP have launched an online petition that can be signed at www.nsndp.ca/ptsd. Wilson will be sending a letter to every MLA in the Nova Scotia Legislature to gain all-party support.