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AVAILABLE EXPERT - Mental health and post-traumatic stress amongst first responders

Friday, March 18, 2016

Queen’s University psychiatry professor Dianne Groll is available to comment on the issue of mental health and post-traumatic stress amongst first responders. The topic has arisen once again, following the death by suicide of an RCMP officer in Ottawa yesterday.

"Operational Stress Injuries - mental and physical injuries that arise as a result of exposure to one or more traumatic events, include PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and sleep disturbances - have been a focus of attention within the Canadian and other Military Forces for several years and a great deal of resources are being applied to look for ways to prevent OSI's from occurring and help people recover when they do," says Dr. Groll

“The same level of attention has not historically been paid to other Public Safety Personnel - police, firefighters, EMT first responders - and it is only recently that the impact of OSIs in these populations are beginning to be recognized.  While the circumstances surrounding yesterday’s tragic shooting are not known, individuals in these professions are routinely exposed to traumatic events and more information on the rates of OSI and the resources needed to prevent and treat them is necessary.”

Dr. Groll is the Director of Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Queen’s University. Her primary research interest is in patient outcomes and observational studies. She collaborates on military and veterans mental health research in conjunction with the Canadian Forces, and with the OPP and municipal police forces examining the incidence of Operational Stress Injuries in those populations.

Dr. Groll is available for print and radio interviews only.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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