$70.00 CAD

Public Safety Personnel - What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know

Mental health professionals play an instrumental role in supporting the mental health and well-being of public safety personnel (PSP). Unfortunately, there is little training and awareness when dealing with the nuances of PSP from both an individual and organizational level. The training today will provide information on some of the cultural competencies required when working with PSP.

Mental health professionals who work with PSP need to understand the unique challenges and stressors that they face in their daily work. PSP often encounter traumatic events, violence, threats, and life-and-death situations that can have a lasting impact on their mental health. They also have to cope with high expectations, organizational pressures, stigma, and isolation that can affect their well-being. Therefore, mental health professionals need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues among PSP, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and suicidal ideation.

Moreover, mental health professionals who work with PSP need to develop trust and rapport with them in order to provide effective support and treatment. PSP may be reluctant to seek help or disclose their mental health concerns due to fear of being judged, misunderstood, or discriminated against. They may also have a strong sense of self-reliance, loyalty, and pride that can make them hesitant to admit vulnerability or weakness. Therefore, mental health professionals need to demonstrate cultural competence, empathy, respect, and confidentiality when working with PSP. They also need to use evidence-based interventions that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of PSP.

The learning objectives for the webinar include:

  1. Describe organizational factors and their impact on PSP mental health.
  2. Discuss the importance of the Mental Health Continuum.
  3. Identify the most common mental health concerns among PSP.
  4. Discuss the implications of the profession on PSP families.
  5. Identify other types of support to assist PSP in their mental health journey.

Those who view the live or recorded webinar will be eligible to obtain continuing education credits. Earn 3 Continuing Education (CE) credits from the Canadian Psychological Association for attending this event. The webinar recording is available for 12 months from the live event, as is the ability to earn CE credits. Anyone who registers for the event will have access to the recording.

Hexagon Psychology (formerly Build Great Teams) is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Hexagon Psychology maintains responsibility for the program. The CPA’s approval of an individual, group, or organization as a CE Sponsor or Provider is restricted to the activities described in the approved application or annual report form. The CPA’s approval does not extend to any other CE activity the Sponsor or Provider might offer. In granting its approval, the CPA assumes no legal or financial obligations to Sponsors, Providers, or to those individuals who might participate in a Sponsor or Provider’s CE activities or programs. Further, responsibility for the content, provision, and delivery of any CE activity approved by the CPA remains that of the CE Sponsor or Provider. The CPA disclaims all legal liability associated with the content, provision, and delivery of the approved CE activity.

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Beth Milliard, MA, PhD, York Regional Police  

Dr. Beth Milliard is a police officer in her 21st year and is currently serving as a Uniform Staff Sergeant overseeing a platoon. Before returning to uniform duties, she was assigned by her Chief to develop a unit dedicated to the mental wellness of all members and their family.  She also worked as a post-doctoral fellow with the University of Regina in the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) conducting research in peer support and mental health support for PSP.  

She is an adjunct professor with Georgian College in the Police Studies degree program and previous instructor and creator of the Peer Support Code of Ethics for Public Safety Personnel (PSP) course at Simon Fraser University. Currently she is volunteering with the Mental Health Secretariat (MHS) as the Chair of the Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAT), co-lead for the Peer Support task team and member of the Joint Knowledge Sub-Committee and is the co-chair for the National Peer Support Community Network (PSCN) with Atlas Institute for Veteran’s and Family.  Recently, she was asked to serve on the PSP expert Hub for ECHO established by the Institute of Work & Health and being studied by the University of Toronto. 

As a subject matter expert and consultant in PSP assessments, safeguard, and peer support, she has had the opportunity to speak at venues internationally and, has been asked to participate in various Podcasts on her work as a leader in police wellness. She has been the author and peer reviewer of many articles and book chapters related to PSP mental health and wellness. Her PhD is in Criminal Justice/Law and Public Policy with an emphasis in mental health. 

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Dr. Beth Millard