Kelowna workshop promotes positive mental health in public safety groups

bcfirstresponders

Leaders from first responder groups and public safety organizations are gathering this week for a workshop in Kelowna aimed at providing them with a framework to promote positive mental health in the workplace.

The Building Resilient Workplaces workshop is being organized by the BC First Responders Mental Health Committee, a multi-agency committee representing labour and management from both urban and rural communities. The committee is working collaboratively to provide cross-organizational leadership, recommend practices, and develop resources that promote positive mental health for first responders across the province.

First responders experience job-related traumas and stressors unlike those experienced in most other occupations, and they are at a higher risk of mental health injuries. Agencies that employ first responders are looking for ways they can best support their workers’ mental health.

“This is such a critical issue among first responders, and we want to provide leaders, influencers and implementers who have mental health responsibilities in their organization with solutions they can use to build resilient workplaces,” says Sergeant Ralph Kaisers, President of the Vancouver Police Union and Vice-President of the BC Police Association.

The interactive workshop will cover a range of key aspects of the Recommended Practices, which is a guide created by the committee. Sessions will cover an introduction to mental health and resilience, the role that leaders have in promoting mental health in the workplace, addressing stigma, intervention and treatment, occupational awareness, action planning and more.

The day-long workshop is being held on November 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Ramada Hotel & Convention Centre, 2710 Harvey Ave., in Kelowna, B.C.

It is one of five workshops being held in B.C. Other workshops are being held in Richmond, Prince George, Victoria and Surrey.