Ontario to Introduce Legislation to Support First Responders with PTSD
– Toronto, ON
Today Ontario intends to introduce legislation that would create a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD diagnosed in first responders is work-related, leading to faster access to resources and treatment.
If passed, the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 would allow faster access to WSIB benefits and timely treatment, ultimately supporting positive recovery outcomes by:
•Once diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, expediting the claims process to be eligible for WSIB benefits
•Removing the need to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event
•Requiring employers to implement PTSD prevention plans within the workplace
The proposed presumption would apply to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, workers in correctional institutions and secure youth justice facilities, dispatchers of police, firefighter and ambulance services, and First Nations emergency response teams.
This is the next step in the government’s strategy to prevent or mitigate the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder and provide first responders with faster access to treatment and the information they need to stay healthy.
“Given all that we ask of our first responders, it is only fair that we support them when they need us most. This legislation will give first responders and those who work in corrections the peace of mind they deserve, and our prevention, resiliency and research initiatives will round out a comprehensive PTSD approach we can all be proud of and that will protect the brave men and women who we entrust with keeping us safe and secure.” Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour
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