Clarington firefighters partner up with Wounded Warriors for mental health support

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Published November 24, 2021 at 9:24 am

Clarington Fire and the Clarington Fire Fighters’ Association and Wounded Warriors Canada know that some fire scars are internal. That’s why they have partnered up to provide first responders and their families an additional layer of mental health support through trauma therapy and education.

Wounded Warriors Canada will provide Clarington’s firefighters and their families access to clinical services, mental health education and trauma therapy explicitly geared to those struggling with operational stress injuries.

“Given the complexities of operational stress injuries, we know that no single organization will ever be the 100 per cent solution when it comes to the mental health and wellness of its members and their families. Partnerships are vital,” said Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada. “Together, we are working to break down barriers to accessing culturally appropriate mental health support while reducing stigma for those who keep our communities safe.”

“Our firefighters train every day to respond to emergencies and help our community. With this new partnership, our crews will also receive the necessary mental health training and support to help them deal with and manage the stressful, traumatic calls and human tragedies they see,” said Fire Chief Mariano Perini. “Our support doesn’t just end with the firefighter; it extends to their families who may also be struggling to help their loved ones’ cope.”

As a mental health service provider, Wounded Warriors Canada offers a range of clinically facilitated programs that have been specifically developed to support the unique needs of veterans, first responders and their families. The programs support individuals, couples, spouses, surviving spouses, and children of those who serve or have served our country. Through its Before Operational Stress (BOS) program, Wounded Warriors also provides leading-edge workplace training geared towards helping make trauma exposure management a new professional standard for both veterans and first responders.

“The Clarington Fire Fighters’ Association is happy to support this partnership that will provide our members with added resources to help them do their jobs and cope with any lasting effects. We are finally starting to break the stigma surrounding mental health in a profession where physical and mental well-being is crucial,” said Michael Kalita, President Local 3139, Clarington Fire Fighters’ Association.

“We encourage all our firefighters to actively seek out these resources and supports. By building a strong and healthy mind, you will help build a long and successful career.”

Clarington Emergency and Fire Services is a composite department made up of full-time and part-time firefighters who will have access to this program.

 

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