According to the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, which provides support, training and assistance to Canada’s public safety and military personnel suffering from operational stress and PTSD, already in Canada, in 2016, 14 first responders and 6 members of the military have committed suicide.
Toronto police Sgt. Richard “Bucky” Rogers died by suicide in 2014. He hanged himself in the family home. He was struggling with job-related PTSD and was found by his wife Heidi. In his suicide note Sgt Rogers partly blamed Toronto Police Service for his suicide. When Sgt. Rogers opened up about his PTSD to his superiors and fellow officers some time earlier he became the object of bullying and hazing. It became too much for him.
When the law recently changed in Ontario defining PTSD as a workplace related condition, Heidi Rogers began to receive death benefits. Just three days later she was informed Toronto Police Service is appealing her benefits and providing no reason for the appeal. Heidi Rogers and her daughter have been outspoken advocates for police officers with PTSD and openly challenged the treatment of her husband by superior officers and fellow officers.
The Minister for Labour, Kevin Flynn, has expressed concern TPS may be abusing the appeal process.
Do you know a first responder who suffers from PTSD? Are our first responders getting the help they need?