Winnipeg firefighters' union launches PTSD help website

The union representing firefighters in Winnipeg has launched a new website to help members who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSDtalk.ca features videos, information about post-traumatic stress disorder

The United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg created PTSDtalk.ca to help firefighters and first responders deal with some of the situations they see on a regular basis. (CBC)

The union representing firefighters in Winnipeg has launched a new website to help members who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg created PTSDtalk.ca as a "referral tool" with videos and information to help firefighters and first responders deal with some of the emotional trauma they experience on the job. 

"PTSD is a very real part of our environment, of our profession, and you have to be able to know that if there's an issue you can come forward," union president Alex Forrest told CBC News on Friday.

The videos show firefighters discussing the effects of PTSD and how they addressed it.

"The personal accounts featured in these videos are honest, shocking and hard hitting in a way to help understand the devastating effects of PTSD," the union said in a news release.

The website also offers information on how to identify symptoms and seek help. As well, it talks about new provincial legislation that automatically allows any fire, police, emergency medical staff or nurse with PTSD to qualify for workers compensation.

Forrest said emergency responders and police often see things on the job that few people experience.

"The biggest road block we're coming to is that we have a culture … especially with the firefighters, it's a very proud culture," he said.

"We want to make sure that our firefighters and paramedics know that it's OK to seek help, that it's normal."

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