Earlier this week, the provincial government announced that it’d be spending $4.5 million on mental health funding for first responders.
The announcement claimed that between 2014 and 2018, first responders submitted 450 Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claims related to post-traumatic stress injuries.
First responders include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, sheriffs, corrections officers, and emergency health-care workers.
This funding will be available as a grant for non-profit organizations and researchers who are working to improve mental health of first responders, but specifically related to only post-traumatic stress.
To qualify as a non-profit, you must submit a proposal for a 12-month project. The project must provide services (although it’s not clear on which specific services) to Alberta first responders living with or at risk of developing PTSI. It must also be based on published research.
To qualify as a researcher, your research project must take no longer than a year, and it must generate evidence on prevention of or intervention for post-traumatic stress in first responders. The research project must also have not been started yet.
The grant, which will be open to applications starting next month, will have a maximum total payout of $1.5 million every year over the next 3 years.
The grant falls under the Ministry of Labour and Immigration. According to the 2020–21 Government Estimates (Revised) publication, this grant will be funded by the Occupational Health and Safety department, which has a 2020–21 budget of $54.8 million.