Government of Canada invests $28.2 million in mental health supports for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder


Funding commitment will help address PTSD and trauma among those most affected by COVID-19

REGINA, Sask., June 27, 2022 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic has created many significant challenges for frontline and essential workers, who have put in long hours and endured prolonged stress while working to keep Canadians safe and healthy. The government of Canada recognizes that these experiences may have put many essential workers and professionals at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is committed to supporting them both now and in our post-pandemic recovery.

Today, on PTSD Awareness Day, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced an investment of $28.2 million for nine projects aimed at addressing PTSD and trauma among frontline and essential workers, and others whose mental health has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These projects will help implement and test interventions, develop resources for affected or at-risk populations, and create resources and guidance for service providers and organizations. Projects will reach frontline and essential workers, including healthcare providers, public safety personnel and their families, personal support workers and long-term care workers.

The investment will also facilitate a knowledge development and exchange hub, which will use data from these projects to inform mental health interventions and improve public health policy and practice in Canada.

Today’s funding is part of a larger investment in Budget 2021 from $50 million over two years to support those suffering from or at risk of PTSD and trauma due to the pandemic, including frontline and essential service providers.


from Canada frontline and essential workers have sacrificed so much to keep us healthy and safe throughout the pandemic, and they deserve our support. With today’s investment, our government is helping to create new tools to support those most at risk of PTSD and encourage their healing journey, while reducing stigma and breaking down barriers to care. To all frontline workers – we are extremely grateful for your continued dedication and commitment to caring for our communities. Thanks!”

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“Canadians are extremely grateful for the hard work of frontline and essential workers, especially during the pandemic. We know this job is not easy and can cause post-traumatic stress injuries. As a government, we have a responsibility to support those who have supported us. I am so proud of the difference these projects will make for those on the front lines.

The Honorable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Security

“This investment from the federal government supports the efforts of our researchers to design, deliver and evaluate diverse and much-needed mental health support for from Canada public safety personnel, frontline healthcare workers, and their leaders and families. These Canadians have always supported our health and safety, and they have made even more extraordinary sacrifices during the pandemic. Now, through training and treatment, we are working to provide them with the support they need.”

Dr R. Nicholas Carleton
University of Regina Professor of Clinical Psychology and Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment

Fast facts

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals, families and communities in many ways.
  • Pandemic stressors could increase the number of Canadians with symptoms of PTSD. Those who already have PTSD may experience more severe symptoms.
  • At the end of 2020, the prevalence of testing positive for PTSD was higher among frontline workers (10%) than among other Canadians (5%).(Statistics Canada, COVID-19 and Mental Health Survey, September to December 2020)
  • PTSD symptoms can affect various aspects of daily living, making it difficult for people to function in daily activities.
  • This funding opportunity aims to promote mental health, well-being and resilience, as well as to provide support after exposure to trauma to mitigate the impact on mental health.
  • Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention are essential complements to mental health care services and can help reduce demands on the health care system.
  • The government of Canada is committed to supporting people in Canada with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you or a loved one are having difficulty, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal offers free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderate peer-to-peer support, and one-on-one counseling with trained healthcare professionals.

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SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Media Contacts: Maja Staka, Press Secretary, Office of the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, 343-552-5568; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Public inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866-225-0709, COVID-19 public inquiries: 1-833-784-4397


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