A new program aimed at preventing first-responder deaths by suicide is being launched at Simon Fraser University.
The course, First Responders Trauma Prevention and Recovery, is being offered as tragedies related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder continue to make headlines.
SFU’s Larry White says the numbers show just how badly the course is needed.
“In 2015, 39 first responders and 12 military members have died by suicide and already unfortunately in 2016 three first responders have died by suicide.”
White says the program will offer first responders the skills they need, to try and mitigate the effects of trauma before, during and after an incident occurs.
“Anyone who has the potential of experiencing trauma that might at some point affect them in their lives.”
The program will train those on the front lines such as police officers to protect themselves from the impact of workplace trauma, as well as offer support to their colleagues.
Participants will be able to obtain a first-of-its-kind in Canada certification, or take courses individually.
White says already there’s been a huge response from across the country.