The president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association is urging members to seek help to deal with trauma they experience on the job after learning that three officers in the force took their lives over a three-week time period, according to CTV News Toronto.
Rob Jamieson said in a letter to association members, "In my opinion, many of us, if not all first responders, suffer the strains of dealing with trauma. While I am not a doctor, I believe that there is no way to do this job without experiencing some degree of trauma and for that, we need to be real."
In his letter to OPP officers, Jamieson said he wants to help remove the stigma associated with first responders seeking help for mental health issues resulting from trauma.
"As Commissioner of the OPP, I am committed to examining the barriers that exist preventing our members from seeking assistance and support," Jamieson said.
"I appeal to our members, their family and friends that if you recognize a fellow member or should a member of your family require assistance, please contact one of our many support services. Society has also come a long way. More and more organizations are being established to discuss mental health, stigma reduction, etc. The OPPA advocated strenuously for presumptive legislation as another way to support our people and reduce stigma but more can and must be done."