Wilson looking to improve care for emergency responders suffering from PTSD

October 1, 2014

Police officers, firefighters, nurses, paramedics and other emergency responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will have better access to care under an NDP bill being introduced today.

“Across Canada, in the last 6 months 23 first responders have taken their own lives. That number includes the loss of maritime first responders,” says Sarah Brown, a Nova Scotia paramedic. “This bill won’t take away the huge loss felt by the families, co-workers, and communities, but it will be a significant positive step for the province of Nova Scotia to help its first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with recognition and support from the WCB.”

And importantly, will help them to be able to continue doing the jobs they are so passionate about, which is caring for Nova Scotians in their time of need.”

Currently, in Nova Scotia emergency responders must prove they’ve acquired PTSD on the job and apply for care within one-year of the traumatic event that resulted in symptoms. Under the NDP Workers’ Compensation for Emergency Responders with PTSD Act all current and former emergency responders will receive automatic coverage for PTSD.

“People such as paramedics and nurses are exposed to catastrophic events on a daily basis and symptoms of PTSD can take years to develop,” says NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson, who introduced the act in the House of Assembly today, October 1. “They put their lives on the line to protect the public and this bill ensures they receive the care they need, when they need it most.”

Currently Alberta and Ontario provide automatic coverage for emergency responders coping with PTSD.

“It is our duty to protect those who protect us.”