Soon after I was elected in 2018, I had the opportunity to present a private members bill to the legislature.
My bill called for the creation of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. I drew on my experiences as a volunteer firefighter, and those of my colleagues, to support the designation of June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day. Firefighters, like many other first responders, are often subjected to horrific events that can haunt them for years.
Few private members bills are passed and I was happy when the government eventually took it up and implemented it.
As I said at the time, PTSD Awareness Day is about helping people learn more about this illness, to recognize it and to know how to get help. It’s a lot like the “Bell Let’s Talk” day which shines the light on mental illness.
The Canadian Mental Health Association called the proclamation of PTSD Awareness Day “historic.”
Three years later, and after two years of Covid, it’s more important than ever that we remember the stress and pressures many people are facing and how it’s affecting them.
Nurses and long-term care staff I talk to are close to the breaking point.
There are a lot of opinions out there about the steps we’ve taken to try to keep people safe during the pandemic.
But no matter what your position, there is a human cost associated with the pandemic. We’ll be feeling it for a long time.
So, if we have a day set aside to acknowledge the issue, and lets people know it’s okay to talk about it, to get help, I think that’s a good thing.