British Columbia

Firefighters and veteran's charity team up for better mental health

Wounded Warriors Canada provides veterans with mental health support programs and a new partnership with the Langford Fire Rescue means first responders will have access to those programs.

Langford Fire Rescue can now access Wounded Warriors Canada support programs

Firefighters in Langford, B.C. will now have more mental health support for themselves and their families thanks to a new partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

First responders in Langford, B.C. will now have access to extended mental health support programs thanks to a new partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada.

The organization, a national mental health charity that provides programs for first responders, veterans and their families, has partnered with the Langford Fire Rescue and will now share those services with the more than 60 Langford volunteer and career firefighters.

Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey told CBC On The Island guest host Khalil Akhtar the new programs include couples counselling and operational stress programs to help build up mental resiliency for young firefighters just starting on the job.

"This is another mechanism for us to be able to protect them mentally and emotionally through the different incidents they attend," said Aubrey.

Unique programs

According to Aubrey, Langford Fire Rescue members already had access to peer support and family assistance programs, but the unique programs Wounded Warriors Canada offers will be a huge new advantage for them. 

Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada, said in a statement the organization is looking forward to working with their new partner.

"This partnership recognizes that no single organization can do it all when it comes to mental health support," said Maxwell.

Aubrey said a relationship began between his crews and Wounded Warrior a few years ago when the charity enlisted the help of Langford Fire Rescue crews to help escort runners during a fundraising race.

Langford Fire Rescue will continue to support Wounded Warrior events and fundraising efforts by providing man power and spreading awareness as their part of the partnership deal.

'My hope is that other departments across the country sign on with Wounded Warriors to signify that whether you're military or a first responder there is help for you," said Aubrey.

To hear the complete interview with Chief Aubrey click on the link below:

With files from On The Island 


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