Prioritize full implementation of the RCMP Employee Well-being Strategy
The new RCMP Employee Well-being Strategy (2021-2024) focuses on the provision of support services, early intervention, and the prevention and treatment of employee mental health challenges as part of building a healthy, safe and productive workplace.
- RCMP develop Support for Operational Stress Injury Program
- Mental-health service offers anonymity to first responders
- RCMP researching officers' operational stress
- Officer extolls the benefits of horse therapy
Why it matters
RCMP employees are at increased risk for mental health issues and illnesses such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Enhancing our understanding of the impacts of front-line work on mental health, offering specialized education and training, and increased access to innovative tools, resources and treatment, will more effectively prevent, protect and restore employee mental and physical health. The RCMP is then better able to serve, support and protect the communities and people we serve.
The implementation of initiatives to support the Employee Well-being Strategy continues:
- well-being Ambassador positions have been staffed in ten of fourteen Divisions, and permanent funding is being sought to stabilize the program over the long term
- the Reintegration Program is currently available in nine provinces and all three territories. The program supports regular members in a respectful and safe gradual return to operational duties following their involvement in a traumatic or critical incident, or after extended leave. There have been 608 referrals to the Reintegration Program in the last five years. More than 93% of members who participated in the reintegration program to date remained on or returned to operational duties
- the Support for Operational Stress Injury Program is actively seeking volunteers to build and expand the national peer support network. The program now includes a 30-day post-incident care protocol following a critical incident. The program continues to provide confidential peer and social support to all categories of employees and RCMP veterans impacted by an Operational Stress Injury. Peers can receive one-on-one support, group support, and mental health resources (as discussed with their medical health care team)
- psychological health screenings continue to be administered, including through telehealth when in-person appointments are not possible. As of July 1, 2023, 1984 psychological health screenings have been completed
- the first in-person pilot sessions on Fostering a Psychologically Healthy Workplace at the RCMP's Executive and Officer Development Program were held in Ottawa in December 2022 and May 2023. The session includes a self-directed online module to build awareness of the 13 psychosocial factors identified in the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Eighty-two percent of participants surveyed at the first session said they had acquired knowledge and skills that could be transferred to their unit
- we updated the RCMP Employee and Family Resource Guide in April 2023 and promoted it internally and externally, as a means of educating all employees (active and on leave) and their families on the well-being resources available to them
- the Occupational Health and Safety Branch has initiated a review of occupational health requirements for certain groups of public service employees (PSE) at high risk for mental health-related illness
- seven groups of public service employees are currently under review by Health Canada
- this initiative ensures occupational health surveillance for high-risk groups of public service employees
- other occupational groups may be referred to Health Canada for review
- the Officer and Executive Peer to Peer Program was launched in November 2022 to better support senior leadership wellness and morale
- volunteers at the Officer rank and Executive level (Inspector/Director and above) provide well-being support to their peers, who face unique challenges in managing critical incidents and sensitive topics
- as of June 23, 2023, the Program was supported by 25 Officer and Executive volunteers
The RCMP is continuing to implement the Employee Well-being Strategy across the organization, including hiring Well-being Ambassadors to lead the program.
The National Civility and Respect Campaign launched on March 11, 2022. The campaign promotes workplace well-being and the Informal Conflict Management Program. The roll-out included all-staff messages from senior executives, communications to encourage employees to reflect on their everyday behaviours, and a two-hour workshop for staff on the Informal Conflict Management Program.
The RCMP's Manager Development Program and the Executive and Officer Development Program are being updated with information on creating a psychologically healthy workplace.
The Occupational Health and Safety Branch is reviewing psychological screening requirements for certain groups of non-police employees whose jobs place them at high risk for mental health illness. This initiative aims to improve early intervention, mental health surveillance and support for these employee groups.
The Reintegration Program is continuing to expand with new support staff. The program supports regular members in a respectful and safe gradual return to operational duties following their involvement in a traumatic or critical incident, or after extended leave. 80 percent of members who participated in the program in 2021 remained on or returned to operational duties.
Many initiatives are being advanced in support of the Well-being strategy.
For example, we are creating Well-being Ambassador (WBA) positions. These individuals will provide visible leadership in the delivery of the well-being programs in each division (province/territory) of the RCMP. The staffing process will be launched in early February and staff will be reallocated to the positions wherever feasible.
We are updating the RCMP Manager Development Program (MDP) with new material being piloted in February 2022. The program will include an online self-directed course on building awareness of the 13 psychosocial factors identified in the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, as well as an in-class module on "Creating a Psychologically Healthy Workplace." More information on the National Standard is available on the Mental Health Commission of Canada website.
We are rolling out a "Civility and Respect in the Workplace" campaign. The campaign will promote workplace well-being and the Informal Conflict Management Program.
While the timing is being confirmed, the national campaign will include a new website, posters and a two-hour workshop available to all employees. The Workplace Well-being Unit is currently working with the ICHR to ensure alignment to the upcoming Harassment Prevention Campaign.
We are also expanding the National Reintegration Program, launched in Alberta, to Ontario (national capital region), Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut. National Reintegration Program Coordinator and Divisional Reintegration Program Coordinator positions have been created and staffing is underway. The Reintegration Program supports regular members in a respectful and safe gradual return to operational duties following their involvement in a traumatic/critical incident or after extended leave. Participation in the program is voluntary and confidential.
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