Work-related psychological trauma can affect many types of workers, including first responders like firefighters and other public safety personnel such as correctional officers. In recent research lead by Dr. Nick Carleton and his team (The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2017), almost half of the public safety personnel surveyed screened positive for mental disorders; this is in stark contrast to the general population rate of about 10%. Although ongoing exposures to potentially traumatic events may be “part of the job”, they can impact an individual’s coping abilities and disrupt participation in daily life activities. In these cases, public safety personnel may eventually interact with the health system through workplace insurance as well as with publicly funded physical and mental health programs. Evidence informed practice is developing in this area.
Join occupational therapists and researchers Megan Edgelow and Heidi Cramm for an update on return to work interventions for work-related psychological trauma, and take part in a dialogue on practice developments.