The Current

Manitoba legislation recognizes PTSD as work-related condition

Manitoba is breaking new ground when it comes to recognizing PTSD in professions you might not associate with trauma. Today we find out who has been falling through the cracks when it comes to treating workplace related PTSD, and ask whether the new approach should go nationwide.
New legislation coming into effect in Manitoba on January 1st seeks to recognize PTSD as a work related condition and and to give workers in all occupations covered by the Workers Compensation Board better access to PTSD care. (Mackenzie Greer/Flickr)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that will affect roughly one in ten Canadians at some point in their lives.

And society is increasingly attuned to the fact that certain professions – from soldiers to police and other first responders – are especially susceptible.

But there's also growing understanding that other lines of work – even if they don't feature such singular traumatic events as the ones we just heard – can also lead to PTSD.

New legislation coming into effect in Manitoba on January 1st seeks to recognize that – and to give workers in all occupations covered by the Workers Compensation Board better access to PTSD care.

For the first time ever, it will be presumed that PTSD is workplace related, unless proven otherwise.

​This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry and Leif Zapf-Gilje. 

It was two years ago that Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands of people in the Philippines, but it still haunts the CBC’s Curt Petrovich today. 16:48

PTSD may be common among soldiers and emergency workers, but it can affect anyone exposed to traumatic situations...including journalists sent to cover high-profile conflicts and natural disasters.

That's what happened to CBC's Curt Petrovich. In 2013, he was sent to the Philippines to cover typhoon Haiyan - a deadly tropical cyclone that killed thousands of people. And while he was there, he witnessed first-hand death and devastation. It affected him more than he realized, and Curt talked about his experience on the CBC podcast Backstory