CBRM seeks wellness co-ordinator to help first responders
Position will form part of municipality's operational health and safety team
Cape Breton Regional Municipality is looking to fill a new position that will create a psychological wellness plan for first responders.
The wellness co-ordinator will work with the municipality's operational health and safety team.
The new position came about after the federal government took a look at what the provinces were doing to support first responders.
The province has since started an online initiative, creating a website directed at first responders' mental health.
Karen Butterworth, manager of occupational health and safety for CBRM, said the new role is the municipality's response to make sure it is taking care of first responders.
"We need to look after them when they need us most because they're there for us on the worst days of our lives and they continue to show up with no questions asked," she said.
Butterworth said studies done across North America show that first responders are exposed to high levels of stress, trauma and violence.
She said in some cases first responders have coping mechanisms, so they may not show symptoms. Others may experience trauma temporarily or have it be an ongoing part of their lives.
"We can help them recognize and develop some resiliency and reduce the stigma to create an environment where they're able to say it's OK to come forward," said Butterworth.
Once the wellness co-ordinator settles in they will provide education, workshops, initiatives, and wellness promotion.
The job posting is open and will close Feb. 8.
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