Mental Health Resources
York Regional Police takes a stepped care approach to mental health that acknowledges that when it comes to mental health, one size doesn't fit all. Depending on how you are feeling, you may need different types of resources to help support your coping. Your needs may change over time as well, so it is important to regularly monitor your own mental health or check-in with a friend, family member, peer supporter, or treatment provider to determine what type of service is best for you at a given moment. Referencing the Mental Health Continuum can be helpful in assisting with monitoring.
YRP believes that psychological wellness promoted through a holistic approach to mental health care that addresses each facet of a member's life: the biological or physical factors, the psychological factors, the social factors, and the spiritual factors. This holistic approach to mental health is reflected in the range of services available to members and their families.
Below is a list of resources that correspond to the different phases of the Mental Health Continuum.
Mental Health Resources: Green Psychoeducation/General Health
Anxiety BC is an excellent resource for those looking for information or self-help activities to address any type of anxiety disorder, from PTSD, to social anxiety, to obsessive compulsive disorder, and many others. It also has sections targeted at children, youth, and parents. All of the resources are evidence-based and follow a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to treatment, which research has shown is an effective approach to managing anxiety issues.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions is a comprehensive resource developed by the Australian Department of Health to provide self-help resources to anyone dealing with issues related to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks, low self-esteem, and many others. Each workbook includes valuable information and activities that can be completed independently or in collaboration with a treatment provider.
This website, provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, provides helpful tips on sleep hygiene, common sleep disorders, and how to cope with shift work.
The link between exercise and mood has been well established, with some studies showing that exercise can be as effective as anti-depressant medication in treating certain forms of anxiety and depression. Building exercise into your daily routine can be a practical way to help cope with stress and there are a number of useful apps and structured exercise programs that can assist with staying consistent.
Our Corporate Wellness Coordinator Jo-Ann Rutledge-Miles is happy to help members set and achieve fitness goals and assist in developing exercise plans to meet individuals' needs. Reach Jo-Ann by email or at ext.7415 or learn more about programs led by the Health and Wellness Unit.
Healthy eating is an important part of both general wellness and psychological health, though it can be difficult when balancing work and family demands to focus on healthy eating habits. At YRP, there are several resources to help members make informed decision about their eating, including the “Fast Food Eating Guide" that provides nutritional information and tips for those that often eat on the go. Member can also consult with YRP's dietician, Ghazal Avand, on their nutritional goals. Ghazal is available for appointments at HQ on Tuesdays between 8am and 4pm. To book an appointment with Ghazal, please contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Morneau Shepell offers an evidence-based, online smoking cessation program that is self-paced and tailored to your specific goals.
Mental Health Resources - Yellow/Reacting
Interactive online therapy programs/coping skill development
Morneau Shepell offers online, interactive stress management programs that are delivered in either an individual or group counseling format through their website or their My EAP app (iPhone and Android). Morneau also offers an app called My Migo which connects you with Morneau's team of experts to set and achieve health and wellness goals through a customized plan. With check-ins along the way, Migo will learn what's working or what needs to be adjusted to keep you on track to achieve your goal. This is a good option for those who could benefit from some guidance on improving their health and wellness but are not yet ready to connect with a counselor in person.
Mood Tracking – MoodNotes app (iPhone), MoodPath app (Android)
Mood tracking apps use a Cognitive-Behavioural approach to helping people learn more about the situations, people, and times of day that impact their mood as well as the activities and relationships that help us cope.
Mindfulness – Headspace app and Buddhify app (iPhone and Android)
Mindfulness is a foundational stress management skill that is designed around helping people shift their focus to the here and now rather than ruminating on the stressors they are currently struggling with. Useful for both general relaxation and as a part of a more comprehensive treatment plan, mindfulness is a skill that can be practiced at any time in any place and can be assisted by the very popular and effective mindfulness apps listed above.
Mindfulness-based resiliency training
York Regional Police offers a mindfulness-based resiliency training program delivered by an MBSR certified member designed to introduce civilian and sworn staff to the principles and practice of mindfulness. This four-day intensive program helps members build awareness of their characteristic reactions to stress and develop practical strategies for managing their stress as well as build their resiliency.
PTSD Coach Canada is a mobile app first designed by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs and adapted by Veteran's Affairs Canada in partnership with the Department of National Defense and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The app offers evidence-based self-assessment tools, management strategies, and links to resources that can benefit those who are suffering from PTSD and their families.
Orange - Injured
Short-Term Peer Support or Chaplaincy Service
The Peer Support Team includes more than 50 members across the organization who volunteer their time to support other members who are struggling with work related or non-work related stressors. Peer Support is a valuable service that allows members to share their difficulties with other officers and civilians with lived experience that can help guide them on their journey to recovery.
External Peer Support Groups
For those who would prefer a group-based approach external to York Regional Police, there are a number of peer support groups serving veterans and first responders from various areas and organizations that offer an opportunity to share experiences with individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
Mental health has a dynamic interaction with family: if one family member is suffering from poor psychological health, it is likely that other family members are impacted as they try to offer support as best they can. In addition to shared resources such as EFAP and SunLife insurance coverage, YRP offers a family support program called York Beyond the Blue, which is designed to bring family members together to help share experiences and support one another.
Spiritual Care Services
Attending to one's spiritual needs is an important aspect of psychological health. Spiritual care at YRP is available to those from a wide range of religious and spiritual backgrounds.
Spiritual care providers are available to help support those who are struggling with religious, moral, or existential questions and find peace with their place in the world. Spiritual care providers perform a range of ministerial services, which may include preaching and teaching, administering sacraments, officiating weddings and funerals, spiritual direction and life coaching, as well as visitation.
The Employee and Family Assistance Program provided by Morneau Shepell offers 24/7 support for members and their families on a wide variety of different issues, ranging from mental health, relationship counselling, financial guidance, legal advice, child and elder care resources, and many more. Face-to-face meetings are available with Morneau's expert counsellors, in addition to phone consultation and text-based contact when needed.
Counsellors and therapist in the community offer supportive therapy for individuals dealing with a broad range of issues. Examples include addictions counsellors, marriage and family counsellors, grief counsellors, among many others. Note that counsellors with MSW degrees and those supervised by licensed clinical psychologists are the only supportive counsellors covered by the York Regional Police SunLife extended benefits plan.
Red - Ill - Intensive individual psychotherapy
If in immediate crisis please call 9-1-1 or take to a local hospital for crisis intervention.
Mental health providers
York Regional Police currently offers $4000 per year in coverage through SunLife for mental health treatment. Treatment is covered if provided by a licensed clinical psychologist or social worker (MSW only).
Because the search for a qualified mental health provider can be overwhelming for someone suffering from mental health concerns, York Regional Police has developed a mental health contact list that provides detailed information on mental health providers throughout southern Ontario who have been screened to ensure that members receive the highest quality services possible.
Psychiatric consult - Visiting a psychiatrist
Individuals who are suffering from significant psychological distress may wish to supplement their existing treatment with medication. In many cases, your family doctor or GP will be able to prescribe psychiatric medications for common mental health concerns, though they may also choose to refer you to a psychiatrist (a medical specialist in mental health) to help develop a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan for you. As is the case with most specialist medical services, the wait for an appointment with a psychiatrist can be long, averaging eight months to one year for non-emergency patients.
Inpatient programs - Local mental health departments
Many major hospitals have inpatient mental health departments that offer psychiatric services to people suffering from severe mental illness and are at risk of harming themselves or others. The purpose of these admissions is to help stabilize and begin to treat individuals before connecting them with mental health services in the community after discharge. In addition, many mental health departments offer outpatient programs to provide follow-up after discharge from an inpatient stay. Please consult the website for your local hospital or call their non-emergency line directly to learn more about the inpatient and outpatient programs available in your area.
Homewood Health, located in Guelph, has a number of inpatient treatment programs targeted at first-responders, those suffering from PTSD, and individuals with concurrent alcohol/substance use and mental illness. Homewood offers full-spectrum care from an interdisciplinary team including nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, and others. Treatment programs range in duration and many offer after-care following the inpatient stay. Note that a portion of the services at Homewood may be covered by SunLife insurance or OHIP.
Bellwood Treatment Centre, located in the Toronto area, offers inpatient treatment programs on addictions, trauma, eating disorders, and many more, with family services available as well. Treatment programs range in duration and after-care services are available for many programs. Note that some programs are eligible for coverage under OHIP depending on availability and patient need.