An associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University will lead a new study that will look at ways to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among police officers.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research announced that it would fund Eliana Barrios Suarez’s study, along with 21 other projects across the country that will all be focused on understanding, identifying, mitigating or preventing PTSD and other negative mental health outcomes among public safety personnel.
A release from the school notes that while on duty, many officers are at the “scene of a car crash, an overdose, even a murder,” which is part of the reason that 40 per cent of public safety personnel have experienced PTSD.
The aim of Suarez’s research will be to see how some officers function with PTSD and how they would like to receive mental health information and resources.
She will work alongside other staff members at Laurier as well as staff from the University of Waterloo, Laurentian University and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Researchers are forming an advisory committee that will include members of the Waterloo Region and Brantford police services.
Findings from the study will be shared with police services and mental health service providers across the country.