WHITEHORSE – Yukon Liberals will amend the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Act to include presumptive provisions for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in first responders, said Riverdale North candidate Nils Clarke.
“We recognize the risks first responders face in providing service to Yukoners,” Clarke said. “One concrete way to do that is to address the serious health care consequences those workers suffer from.”
Clarke said a Liberal government will also work with the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board to develop prevention measures to reduce the incidence of PTSD in all Yukon workers.
“Firstly, more needs to be done to raise awareness about the issue itself. Second, there needs to be more support from government for critical incident stress management, which helps address post-traumatic stress before it manifests into a disorder,” he said.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both cumulative and traumatic, is currently covered under the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers must prove their condition is work related. The province of Manitoba passed “presumptive” PTSD legislation for First Responders which came into effect on January 1, 2016.
PTSD is very prevalent amongst first responders and without treatment and intervention can result in significant mental health and work disability issues for these workers.
A Liberal government would work with the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board to ensure that the cost of this coverage is borne by government (not all Yukon employers through assessment rates.)
Clarke thanked Dawson City Fire Chief Jim Regimbal for this advocacy on behalf of first responders in recent years with regard to PTSD.
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