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New Supports For Members of The Woodstock Police Service

Courtesy Woodstock Police Service (submitted)

The Woodstock Police are making it easier for members to access programs related to mental health and PTSD. They have partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada, a national mental health charity.

WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock Police Service has signed a new partnership agreement with Wounded Warriors Canada.

Wounded Warriors is a national mental health charity providing support to veterans, first responders and their families.  Under the agreement, WPS will share resources and identify or refer their members in need of mental health support to the programs offered by Wounded Warriors Canada. 

Police Chief Daryl Longworth says they will refer members in need of mental health support to Wounded Warriors. 

"And not just to provide the supports, but to start the conversations and let our members know, it's ok, that you are not ok, we are human beings. I don't think human beings were meant to see and live through some of the trauma that our members live through each and every day and that trauma and that exposure, just builds, layer upon layer, to sometimes where it reaches a breaking point. I want to encourage our members to say it's ok, if have to take knee, put up your hand and say I need some help, that's ok, we will move on, we will get you the help you need and get you back to work. So that is the communication here, overall, just changing the culture within our organization to prevent some serious mental health issues down the road for our people and their families." 

Longworth says he wants to see the stigma around mental health and mental health supports for first responders be removed.

"The reality is, we are human beings and we have convince each other that we are not superhuman and that we do have weaknesses and it is ok to have weaknesses, because we are human beings and not only looking after myself but teaching them to look to my right, to my left, to the people next to them and teaching them to have the courage to get the support that they need."

Wounded Warriors Canada's innovative approach to mental health combines clinical best practices and evidence-informed care to create an environment of compassion, hope and resiliency for participants. Partnering with Wounded Warriors Canada is just one of the ways Woodstock Police has been encouraging members to get the support they need and focus on their health and safety since Chief Longworth has come on board. They have also expanded their peer support group and are working on a pilot project to bring therapy dogs into their building. 

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