Nine first responders have committed suicide in Canada in the first six weeks of 2016. Thirty-nine committed suicide nationally in 2015. They were most frequently battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A young Toronto police officer, Darius Garda, drowned in Lake Ontario earlier this week. His colleagues retrieved his body. Reports show Constable Garda suffered from PTSD and was unable to persuade WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) to assist him. Just days ago, the Ontario government announced that it would work toward declaring PTSD a workplace related injury. Meanwhile, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has long had a private bill waiting to be approved. Bill 2 would come to the assistance of first responders struggling with PTSD.
A former Mississauga Firefighter of the Year is battling PTSD and finds himself ignored by WSIB and ostracized by Mississauga bureaucracy. We speak with both. When Norman Traversy was reassigned to a desk job in Mississauga, he says an official-looking sign was placed above his work station reading “Caged Animal – Norman Traversy.”
Are you a first responder or know someone who is? Do you have concerns?
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