Thank you very much, Mr. Rodrigue.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you very much for your invitation to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
I'll tell you a little about me. I am a retired RCMP officer. I did all my service in New Brunswick. I am originally from Montreal, and so when I got to a little place called Neguac, New Brunswick, it was quite a rude awakening, to say the least. After my 13 years on the road, I went into VIP work where my unit was the first to have a full security detail on the Premier of New Brunswick, who at the time was Bernard Lord. After a couple of years of that, I derailed more into looking after the members themselves, and became the EAP coordinator for the division in the province of New Brunswick for a few years, and then I moved on to being the return-to-work coordinator. I also finished my master's in counselling psychology at UNB.
I noticed a big gap, not for those who were getting the help they needed, but the walking wounded, those out there who didn't know where to get help. Essentially, I became involved in this program years ago, and I have a lot of passion for it. I believe in it, and I can certainly answer any questions in French or English.
The other representatives from the commission can answer your questions as well.
To start, I would like to tell you about the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Essentially, the Mental Health Commission was created in 2007 based on a report on mental health, “Out of the Shadows At Last”, which came out in May 2006.
As you can see on the screen, it is a non-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada, but operating at arm's-length. There are key areas in mental health: workplace, recovery, peer support, suicide, first nations, Inuit and Métis, and opening minds. Today, I'll be discussing the road to mental readiness, R2MR, which is directed to the workplace, in particular to first responders.
Some of the projects and initiatives we have been involved in include the mental health strategy for Canada, as well as the national standard of Canada for psychological health and safety. We often look at the physical health and safety, but more and more research has shown us that we have to look at the psychological health and safety as much as we do for the physical.
Opening minds is an initiative where essentially we looked at all.... They didn't want to reinvent the wheel. They wanted to look at what is out there to determine what is of value. They looked and took an evidence-based approach. They didn't reinvent things that were already out there, like the R2MR. The four target groups they looked at were health care providers, youth, news media, and the workplace. Specifically, R2MR is in the workplace. However, it has a secondary effect of bringing the tools and things they'll learn through this program home to their spouses and their families, which quite frankly is the secondary advantage of having this program rolled out.
Why is mental health important? This is where I'd like this to be a little interactive. Before we start some of the questions with some statistics, we're going to look at a video.