Health and Community Services
February 22, 2018

Funding Provided to Support of Mental Health Training for Paramedics

The Provincial Government has provided $8,000 to the Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to support mental health training for first responders.

Funding will be used by the Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to deliver the Road to Mental Readiness education course. Originally developed by the Department of National Defence, the Mental Health Commission of Canada is working to bring the course to groups and organizations across the country.

The Road to Mental Readiness course was created specifically for first responders in order to reduce stigma, improve short-term job performance, and build personal resiliency. It aims to provide the tools and resources required to support those employees who may be experiencing a mental illness.

The course is starting in the next few weeks. It will be offered in Conception Bay South, Cabonear, St. John’s, Clarenville, Burin, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, and Stephenville.

Funding of the Road to Mental Readiness education course aligns with Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. One of the recommendations is to implement dedicated mental health services for first responders including ambulance personnel, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and correctional staff by March 2022.

Quotes
“Stress, workload and work-life issues can have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health. We must have supports in place for first responders as they are the first ones on the scene when people in our communities are facing tragedy, illness, and fear. The Road to Mental Readiness education course is valuable training. My hope is that it will encourage first responders to speak up about their challenges and reach out for the help they may need.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“The Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador recognized the need for this type of training and approached the government for assistance in ensuring we were able to bring the Road to Mental Readiness training course to as many paramedics and EMRs as possible. After receiving extensive training to help others, it is time we receive training to help ourselves and our coworkers. We are excited to bring forward this initiative with the help of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Rodney Gaudet
President of the Paramedics Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Stigma is a major barrier that prevents people from seeking help for mental health problems or mental illness. Paramedics, in common with other helping professions, are perhaps more likely to delay seeking services for themselves. It’s very encouraging that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing in the Road to Mental Readiness to not only combat stigma but to equip first responders with a self-awareness tool that will improve their ability to gauge their mental health, prompting them to recognize when they need help.”
Louise Bradley
President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada

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Learn More
Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador – www.panl.ca external link

Mental Health Commission of Canada - www.mentalhealthcommission.ca external link

Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/pdf/mentalhealth_addictions_plan.pdf PDF icon

Report Card: The First Six Months - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publications/pdf/Progress_Update_Mental_Health_Way_Forward.pdf PDF icon

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNLexternal link icon and @HCS_GovNL external link

Media contacts
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292
emilytimmins@gov.nl.ca

Rodney Gaudet
Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
1-855-561-3698
contactus@panl.ca

Hélène Côté
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3755, 857-0840
hcote@mentalhealthcommission.ca

2018 02 22                              11:00 a.m.