OPP welcome release of Ombudsman's report on operational stress injuries

Oct 24, 2012

ORILLIA, ON, Oct. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) welcome the release of the Ombudsman of Ontario's report on how the OPP deals with operational stress injuries (OSI) among its members. The OPP strongly believes that education is the key to making progress in this area and recognizes that the report's release will help increase awareness about OSI and broader mental health issues.

The Ombudsman's report defines 'OSI' as a term used to describe any persistent psychological difficulty that police personnel experience as a result of operational duties, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, addictions, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In the spirit of full cooperation, the OPP provided the Office of the Ombudsman with information about: the impact of OSI and PTSD on OPP members, statistical information about mental health issues, background information on OPP programs and supports for employees, as well as facilitating access to OPP members for interviews.

The OPP appreciates the work undertaken during this 18-month investigation and, now that the final report has been released, will be conducting an in-depth review of all of the Ombudsman's recommendations. The OPP regularly evaluates its programs and practices and will make good use of any relevant findings in the report.

"The OPP is committed to supporting its workforce and this includes addressing operational stress injuries," says Commissioner Chris Lewis. "I am proud of the efforts of our employees to deliver programs and resources relating to wellness, stress management, and critical or traumatic incidents. But I also acknowledge that, while we continue to make significant progress in this area, we can still do better -- and we will. We owe that to our people. I also believe the report's recommendations may be of benefit to all first response agencies and their employees."

SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Note: Interviews with Commissioner Lewis and/or A/Superintendent Dave Quigley of the OPP Career Development Bureau can be arranged via the media contact below.

Media Contact:   
A/Sgt. Kelly Daniels-Griffis
Media Relations Coordinator
OPP Corporate Communications
Phone:   (705) 329-6878