The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) works to improve the lifetime
wellness of Canadian Public Safety Personnel (PSP), their leadership, and their families through collaborative research knowledge exchange and strategic partnerships. Located at the University of Regina, CIPSRT is a knowledge exchange hub within a national research consortium that is working under the Government of Canada’s Action Plan on Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI).
Using the best contemporary research evidence, CIPSRT offers a variety of free tools and services to improve mental health for police officers and other PSP:
- The PSP Mental Health Website allows PSP and their families to quickly search and find mental health services across Canada. Users can filter mental health options in many ways, including cost, language, type of service, privacy, and location. The website is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
- The Six Steps to Finding a Clinician Guide makes finding mental health help easier for PSP. The Guide was developed by CIPSRT and a committee of mental health clinicians in response to a request from federal public safety leaders who recognized their members needed a tool to help them overcome the common barriers to seeking mental health support. Interactive and easy to use, it helps users navigate the process of finding a clinician from start to finish.
- CIPSRT offers several Self-Assessment Tools to help identify symptoms of mood, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorders. The tools are intended to educate and help inform whether someone should consider speaking with a health care professional. CIPSRT also hosts monthly webinars, which can be viewed on the website (archived) along with research summaries.
- Effective treatment options are essential to improving the mental health of PSP, and CIPSRT provides leadership in developing, evaluating, optimizing, and implementing accessible, secure, and innovative evidence-based interventions. PSPNET is an Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) specifically tailored for current and former PSP. The ICBT program is 8 weeks long and offers optional weekly therapist support; support can be extended up to 16 weeks. PSPNET is a free, confidential service and does not require a referral. It is available to current and former PSP who:
- self-reportproblems with anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress injuries;
- are 18 years of age or older;
- are comfortable using andhave access to the Internet;
- are willing to provide a local medical contact in case of emergencies; and
- live in Saskatchewan or Quebec (expansion to other provinces is being planned).
- CIPSRT is also working to develop, deploy, and evaluate evidence-informed training solutions to meet the current and future needs of PSP. Training for PSP may take on many forms, including reducing stigma, increasing mental health knowledge, or minimizing mental health disorders or deaths by suicide through resiliency training and early intervention programs. CIPSRT is currently leading a national plan to bring the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) training program to PSP sectors across Canada.