The OPP Association welcome the announcement today in the Ontario Budget that the Solicitor General intends to administer a program to distribute $45 Million over three years to support organizations and programs that provide public safety personnel with access to specialized mental health services.
The OPP Association has been fortunate to have provided extensive support to our members and their families since the start of our Ontario Provincial Government funded Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program in 2020. Our members work collaboratively in emergency response situations that often involve long lasting trauma for our members as well as our partners in corrections, emergency health services, and fire services. We believe that this proposed funding is a good step to sustainable mental health for our first responder community, and it will save lives.
The proposed focus of the programming is on mental health promotion and resiliency as well as early intervention and treatment. Funding, when implemented, would support police, corrections, emergency health services, and fire. Programs that specifically support customized Employee and Family Assistance Programs are an identified priority for public safety personnel and their families through the Mental Health Collaborative Tables.
The Solicitor General also intends to invest $0.5M to create an online province wide inventory of regionally available mental health programs restricted to wellness coordinators across fire, police, corrections, and emergency health services. These programs will focus on mental health promotion, resiliency, early intervention, and treatment for PSP including municipal police and fire and emergency health services as well as provincial correctional employees and the Ontario Provincial Police and their families.
Rob Stinson, President
Ontario Provincial Police Association