CIPSRT invites all Canadians to recognize PTSD awareness on June 27

News Release Release Date: June 22, 2020 10:48 a.m.

Since 2019, Ontario has dedicated June 27 as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina calls on all Canadians to recognize and participate in creating awareness and in reducing the stigma for public safety personnel (PSP) facing PTSD. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the formal recognition of PTSD as a mental health disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, University of Regina psychology professor and scientific director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), describes PTSD as “a mental health disorder which can occur following exposure to specific types of potentially psychologically traumatic events involving a severe threat to oneself or others.”

Research has shown that 50 to 90 per cent of people in North America may experience one or more potentially traumatic events during their lifetime, with 5 to 10 per cent of this population possibly developing PTSD. This includes people in careers where exposure to potentially traumatic events may be more common, more frequent or longer in nature, such as public safety personnel, including police officers, career and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, correctional employees, border services personnel, and public-safety communications officials

“To mark this special day, CIPSRT has produced an educational video that documents the progress society has made in our understanding of PTSD,” says Dr. Nicholas Jones, CIPSRT Executive Director and U of R’s Interim Associate Vice-President (Research). “We have come a long way in 40 years and at CIPSRT we have been able to disseminate a further understanding of the effects PTSD has on PSP in Canada as well as make progress on PSP-specific treatment. Our goal is to have all Canadians join Ontario in recognizing June 27, 2020 as PTSD Awareness Day and share CIPSRT’s PTSD awareness video.”

Teal ribbons or clothing have been designated as symbols of PTSD awareness. Canadians are encouraged to wear a teal ribbon or shirt on June 27 in order to support Canada’s public safety personnel who protect and keep all of us safe.

In the past few years, the University of Regina has been engaged in strategic efforts and partnerships to meet some of the mental health needs of Canada’s PSP. In January 2019, the U of R and Public Safety Canada signed a contribution agreement to operationalize the Government of Canada’s commitment to establish a new national research consortium to address PTSD among public safety personnel.

This resulted in the establishment of CIPSRT, and the public safety personnel internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (PSPNET) to address post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI), coordinate research, enhance access to treatment, and improve the well-being of police officers, career and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, correctional employees, border services personnel, and public-safety communications officials, living with depression, anxiety, and PTSI.

For more information on PTSD Awareness Day activities, please visit or follow CIPSRT on Twitter @CIPSRT_ICRTSP and Facebook CIPSRT-ICRTSP.


 About the University of Regina

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,500 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.


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