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'It's OK to to talk about it:' Waterloo Police on new PTSD plan

The new police PTSD strategy in Waterloo Region focuses on open dialogue and early intervention. "Our members deal with traumatic incidents daily," officer says.

Waterloo Regional Police's new plan hopes to show how awareness can help minimize PTSD

Waterloo Regional Police are looking at new approaches to dealing with and preventing PTSD among officers. (Colin Butler/CBC)

The Waterloo Regional Police Service is taking new steps to ensure the mental and psychological wellbeing of its officers.

The service's new PTSD prevention plan looks at ways of preventing and helping treat PTSD among officers. It's based on a similar model used by the Armed Forces.  

"Our members deal with traumatic incidents daily," Staff Sgt. Dean Smith told The Morning Edition's Craig Norris. "We want to make sure that they have the resources available to address those."

For the WRPS's wellness unit, the big focus is on preventing the illness, and being open about some of the warning signs. 

"We want them to feel comfortable talking to people about this," Smith said.

The project is already underway within the service and for Smith and his colleagues, the hope is that this will foster more open and honest dialogue about mental health in their police service.