(Image / Saanich Police Facebook)

Saanich Police employees will be the first police force in BC to receive mental health supports through a partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC).

In a collaborative arrangement with WWC and Dr. Tim Black and Alex Sterling of the University of Victoria, Saanich Police will be sharing resources and referring members needing support to programs offered by WWC.

See also: Groups working with trauma victims can apply for provincial grants in BC

Wounded Warriors is a national charity that offers programs that support employees affected by workplace-related trauma, and operational stress injuries to veterans, first responders and their families.

This new Trauma Resiliency Training (TRT was created by Dr. Tim Black – an Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology at UVic, the WWC National Clinical Advisor, and a Registered Psychologist – and Alex Sterling – a Registered Clinical Counsellor and the Manager of Student Life at UVic.

“The Saanich Police Department is deeply committed to the health and wellness of our staff and providing them with the training and resources they require to respond to psychologically demanding calls for service in the community,” said Chief Constable Scott Green.

“Through these types of strategic partnerships, we can better prepare our members to remain resilient in the face of adversity, ensure the safety of the public, and maintain our commitment to the highest standards of police service for our community.”

This program was first launched in fall 2019 making Saanich Police the first police agency in BC to provide mental health support for its officers and employees.

Trauma resiliency training is expected to help staff cope with psychological trauma in the workplace, and Saanich Police hope that the program will be made available to other police agencies in the province.