OPP works to reduce stigma of mental illness

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have made significant progress in trying to mitigate the impact of operational stress injuries (OSI) on its workforce, detailing some of its recent initiatives in its third quarterly report to the Ontario Ombudsman.

The OPP has officially joined the Not Myself Today at Work national campaign developed by Partners for Mental Health (PMH).

“By joining with PMH, the OPP is furthering awareness of mental health issues and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Planning for the OPP’s province-wide Not Myself Day at Work event is underway for the fall of 2013,” says OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

Lewis and OPP Association president Jim Christie recently announced the launch of the OSI working group email address where members (current and former) and their families are encouraged to confidentially contact the working group to share their thoughts and experiences, both positive and negative, on issues associated with OSI in the workplace.

The OPP recently mailed correspondence to the residences of all OPP members on a longer-term leave from the workplace, encouraging them to review the Ombudsman’s report, In the Line of Duty: Investigation into how the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services have addressed operational stress injuries affecting police officers.

The letter also encourages members to review the OPP’s quarterly reports to the Ombudsman (available on opp.ca) and reminds them of the continuing supports available to them while on leave through the internal and external employee assistance program services.  

Other initiatives to address this issue were outlined in the OPP’s first two reports to the Ombudsman. Work on this initiative continues.