What We Do
In the early days: Lobby the BC Government to change its WorkSafeBC Legislation
First and foremost, You are not alone – PTSD BC is a small, but growing, grassroots lobby group that got its start in October 2014. The group was founded by paramedic, Lisa Jennings, who felt that WorkSafeBC was making first responders, making a (diagnosed) mental health injury claim, go through undue stress, hardship, causing further trauma and jump through arduous hoops that they were not making a person with a physical injury, with similar medical reports go through.
There was also clearly prejudicial treatment as those workers NOT working in the emergency services field, did have their Mental Health Injury Claims readily accepted and compensated in a timely manner.
The focus of our group’s lobbying efforts were to have the Government change Section 5.1 of the Workers Compensation Act, to include a Presumptive Clause. Although Section 5.1 works well for the majority of Workers, it held First Responders to unattainable standards, "we should be used to this, you knew this when you got into the job". A Presumptive Clause would ensure that first responders would not have to prove their mental health injury was work related as it stood at the time. These claims took years to either be accepted and the injured Worker is put through psychological assessments, repeatedly, having to relive the event which re-traumatizes them even further. Instead the onus would be WorkSafe BC to prove that a claim for PTSD for example, was not resulting from a work place incident or non-existent at all. During this process, the worker will receive immediate and appropriate treatment from a psychologist/psychiatrist who specializes not only in PTSD but one that understands the work of a first responder and and financial benefits, so that living in poverty is not the reality that so many are forced to try to live through. Such a Clause was legislated in Albera in 2012 and has been tremendously successful in a cost saving measure and more importantly, saving the lives of their First Responders.
It was a great day on May 17, 2018, when our NEW Government (NDP/Greens) heard our our cries and Bill 9 reached Royal Assent.
Educational presentations on PTSD: Breaking the silence
Education and breaking the stigma associated with mental health injuries (PTSD) is very near and dear to the founder of this group’s heart. Lisa Jennings and other members from a Fire or Police perspective are available to groups who would like to hear more about PTSD from a boots-on-the-ground perspective.
There is an educational piece, not a university lecture, but an honest look at what happens to the brain; the signs and symptoms; and how to support someone you know who has some of these signs. Then we’ll talk, answer any questions and speak from our heart not from a book. Maybe, just maybe we can even break some myths so the stigma around this invisible injury will be no more.
Online Peer Support
We are also please to offer a Closed Facebook Peer Support Group to our First Responders and Front Line Workers who are battling WSBC, and struggling through their personal journey with their own psychological injuries. We get it! So please...know this...You Are NOT Alone! Someone is ALWAYS online, someone is always there to chat, someone has likely gone through something similar and why try to figure out WSBC when someone else already has?
To find out more…
If you are interested in finding out more our efforts to get WorkSafeBC to change its legislation to include a Presumptive Clause, or would like to inquire about having Lisa or others speak to your group, you can reach us through our contact page.
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PTSD is DONE to you, it does not DEFINE you...