Public Health Agency of Canada provides almost $20 million to the University of Regina to support the mental health of frontline health care workers, public safety personnel and their families

News Release Release Date: June 27, 2022 11:45 a.m.

The University of Regina, through the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), has received almost $20 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to fund five projects. 

The projects will explore and support the mental health needs of Canadian frontline health care workers, public safety personnel, their families, and other essential workers. This is the largest one-time funding contribution in the U of R’s history. The announcement was made earlier today, which is designated as PTSD Awareness Day (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).

“Canada’s frontline and essential workers have sacrificed so much to keep us healthy and safe throughout the pandemic, and they deserve our support,” said the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health. “With today’s investment, our government is helping create new tools to support those most at risk of PTSD and encourage their healing process, all while reducing stigma and removing barriers to care. To all frontline workers – we are incredibly grateful for your continued dedication and commitment to caring for our communities. Thank you!” 

“The University is a leader in innovative, mental health research and support in Canada and the funding we have received from the Public Health Agency of Canada will allow us to expand on our work in this critically important area,” said University of Regina President Dr. Jeff Keshen. “Public safety and frontline personnel provide vital, life-saving services to Canadians across the country, and we are pleased to support them, and their families, through our research and programs addressing their mental health and well-being.”

The following projects will be led by University of Regina and involve multiple partners from across Canada (see Backgrounder for project summaries):

  • Expansion and Evaluation of the Before Operational Stress Program (approx. $9.0 million)
  • Advancing Peer Support Programming to address PTSD and trauma among Canadian Public Safety Personnel and Veterans (approx. $3.7 million)
  • Canadian Institutes for Pandemic Health Education and Response (approx. $2.8 million)
  • An Ecosystem of Resources and Supports for Public Safety Personnel Families (approx. $2.1 million)
  • Training and Development Program for Public Safety Personnel (approx. $2.1 million)

Dr. Nathalie Reid leads the Child Trauma Research Centre (CTRC) at the University of Regina and is one of the co-leads of the project targeted toward helping families of public safety personnel.

“Our Ecosystem of Resources and Supports project will support the mental well-being of family members,” said Dr. Reid. “Providing family members with mental health resources and supports is critical for addressing their needs and also supports the mental well-being of the associated public safety personnel.”

Through CIPSRT, the University of Regina has a proven track record of helping those who help us by conducting research, developing and providing clinical mental-health supports, and mobilizing knowledge for public safety personnel (PSP), their leaders, and their families, including Canadian border security officers, correctional workers, firefighters, operational intelligence officers, paramedics, police, public safety communicators (e.g., 911 dispatchers), search and rescue personnel.

Participating researchers are available for interviews via the contact noted above.


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 16,000 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’s, and doctoral degrees.


As part of the National Research Consortium, CIPSRT serves as the Knowledge Exchange Hub for knowledge synthesis, translation, and exchange that relies upon the best contemporary research evidence supporting an overall mission to help current and former public safety personnel, their leaders, and their families to maintain and improve their mental health and well-being. For more on CIPSRT, please see


- 30 -