Over the past year we've also seen Provincial Governments move forward to provide presumption of illness language into compensation law. To date, the Provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario have completed this process. Other Provinces and Territories remain in discussion, with the Opposition Party in British Columbia now behind Public Safety workers, having introduced legislation for amendment to the Workers Compensation Act in BC last year.
For survivors from the industry, this movement grants hope that future workers will receive the care and provision of supports that we didn't. We've heard a lot of talk on the issue over the years. Although we're pleased with the shift we see finally coming, there is still much work to do.
We've heard plenty of talk. Considering that we're still losing far too many of our brethren to suicide, we continue now to persuade some urgency in getting the planning of these promised measures by Governments moving. We do so because we know that developing care-streams will ultimately save unnecessary loss of life.
A still evident stumbling block seems to be leadership in Public Safety. It appears our leaders now realize something proactive needs to be done, however they remain stuck, it seems, in being able to figure out exactly what they might need to do.
Enter Walk the Talk: A Boots-On-The-Ground Peer and Trauma Support Systems Guide.
This guide is written by two former police staff-sergeants, Sylvio (Syd) Gravel and Brad McKay. Syd was a guest for our first webinar, Transitions Home From Trauma in 2015. Although I've not had the pleasure as yet to meet co-author Brad McKay, others in my peer-support network hold both authors in high-esteem.
Together these gentlemen bring a combined 55 years of experience, both in active duty and as survivors who've experienced trauma on the job. They worked together for years, co-founding the development of the York Regional Quad-Services Critical Incident and Peer Support Teams, as well as the Ottawa Police Service’s Robin’s Blue Circle – an informal post shooting trauma peer team in existence since 1988.
As a trauma-survivor myself from the ranks of Public Safety, Walk the Talk offers today's leadership a missing piece of the puzzle. If the agency I worked for had developed a care-system based on the recommendations in this book, perhaps myself and others might have made it through our chosen professions.
We've learned that when employer organizations are pro-active, accepting the reality of trauma with provision of a recovery-path made available, workers psychologically injured have a much higher chance at success. When employers and workers walk hand-in-hand to allow each experience of trauma, and working through the experience together to build a greater sense of resiliency, provision of a care-stream on the part of leadership supports both the injured worker and the agency itself.
Providing quality, trauma-informed help, as close to the experience of injury in time as possible, can grant an employer retention of a quality worker. Designing and implementing Peer-Support and Critical Incident Stress Management, protects everyone from the harms Operational Stress Injuries impose.
We want to see best-practice, and better outcomes for current workers. Rather than the outcomes too many of us have experienced in which our employers were forced to consider those of us stricken as a liability, leaving us stranded and feeling as though we've been thrown-away.
From the authors of Walk The Talk:
“Walk the Talk”, introduces all the phenomenal “Boots-On-The-Ground” information that every organizational leader needs to have at their finger tips to go from having nothing or very little in place to reaching the gold standard in Peer and Trauma Support Systems within the workplace."
This guide is a God-Send, as far as this survivor is concerned. It offers a step-by-step study, offering clear guidance to establishing CISM and Peer Support systems within any Public Safety Organization. For those of us that were abandoned, the development of Critical Incident Management Systems and the development of functional Peer-Support Teams and systems, was the missing piece that led ultimately to our own career demise.
Topics covered in Walk The Talk include:
We've now discussed the issue of Trauma and PTSD as survivors, and we've passed-on to decision-makers all that we know. Now is the time for leadership in Public Safety to take charge and establish quality systems for prevention and quality care.
It's time to "Walk the Talk" getting done what needs doing.
This offering from Syd Gravel and Bruce McKay is now available to help us get there.
Walk The Talk Is Now Available: Follow This Link
Disclaimer: These materials and resources are presented for educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider. If you have concerns, contact your health care provider, mental health professional, or your community health centre.
Darren Gregory © 2017: All Rights Reserved