Ontario Law Recognizes PTSD as an Occupational Disease for First Responders

Ontario has become the latest province to enact legislation making post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a presumptively occupational disease. Emergency service employees with PTSD will no longer have to prove it was caused by tragedies they handled on the job in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, erasing a major roadblock to prompt treatment. The new law applies to police officers, firefighters, emergency-response teams, paramedics, some corrections employees and other workers who are first on the scene in traumatic situations. This bill had been proposed in an attempt to combat a recent rise in suicides among first responders—and help first responders to come forward for help when they need it. Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has recently stated how “psychological injury is just as damaging, is just as harmful, and is just as preventable in many ways as a physical injury.” Read more here.