April 5, 2016 10:50 am
Updated: April 5, 2016 12:25 pm

Ontario passes legislation on PTSD treatment for first responders

WATCH ABOVE: Labour Minister Kevin Flynn made an announcement with Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, introducing legislation that will see post-traumatic stress disorder included as a “presumptive” occupational illness for first responders.

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TORONTO — Ontario has unanimously passed legislation recognizing post traumatic stress disorder as work-related illness for police, firefighters and paramedics.

Under the old rules, first responders had to prove their PTSD was related to their job to be eligible for coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

READ MORE: 8 deaths so far in 2016: Canada’s first responder PTSD crisis

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New legislation that assumes PTSD is work-related for first responders passed third and final reading by a vote of 96-to-0.

The government says first responders are at least twice as likely as the general population to suffer from PTSD, and that the condition results in more suicide attempts than all other anxiety disorders.

READ MORE: Invisible Wounds – PTSD and a growing crisis in the military

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown calls the bill a step forward for police, firefighters and paramedics struggling with PTSD, and says he hopes it will save lives.

New Democrat Cheri DiNovo, who introduced five different bills trying to extend WSIB coverage to first responders with PTSD, says she’d like to see it expanded to include nurses, special constables, bailiffs and parole officers.

VIDEO: Ontario pushes for quicker treatment for first responders suffering from PTSD

 

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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