Mental Health Check for First Responders
We serve and protect those who serve and protect us.
The Mental Health Check was designed to assess a wide-range of mental health concerns that are commonly found within the first responder community.
For quality assurance purposes, Mental Health Check in partnership with the Ottawa Hospital Research institute - Communities of Practice (CoP) for first responders teams are sending surveys to asses acceptability and feasibility of MHC for first responders. This quality assurance project will assist in establishing and revising the processes of mental health support.
Organizations Leading the Way to Better Mental Health
What is the Mental Health Check?
The Mental Health Check (MHC-PSP) assessment brings together a unique battery of psychological tools to screen for common mental health challenges that we observed in public safety personnel. This includes things like anxiety, depression, operational and organizational stress, burnout, trauma, and substance-misuse to name a few.
The measures included in the Mental Health Check assessment have been screened by our clinical advisory team and numerous subject matter experts. Each measure is either specifically endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association or supported by external research evidence.
The Mental Health Check assessment can be accessed directly through our website, or your association's customized link. Public safety personnel can complete the Mental Health Check assessment from the comfort and privacy of their home. Once complete, the findings are debriefed with the member by a qualified mental health professional either virtually or over the phone.
If the findings indicate a need for ongoing support, a list of qualified mental health professionals that meet the public safety personnel's specific and unique needs will be generated and shared to the member for referral. This smooth, streamlined process allows for the communication of results and subsequent referral, should it be necessary, in a quick and efficient manner.
Why your organization has adopted the MHC-PSP?
PSP members and support organizations have worked tirelessly to support the mental health of their members. Recognizing that mental health and work-related stressors are the leading cause of injury in public safety personnel, the MHC-PSP allows organizations to be proactive in the detection of concerns and will lead to better overall organization and operational outcomes down the road.
Staff Sergeant Beth Milliard, PhDNational Subject Matter Expert, Advisory Council Lead
Beth Milliard is a first responder in Ontario, Canada. She is in her 20th year of service and is currently a Uniform Staff Sergeant overseeing a platoon. She is also an adjunct professor, with Georgian College for 12 years teaching in the Police Studies degree program and Simon Fraser University for the past 3 years, teaching in the First Responder Trauma & Recovery Certificate program. She also works with the Mental Health Commission of Canada where she is a Master trainer for the Working Mind and a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
She has worked in all areas: uniform, investigative and administrative. However, her most rewarding role to date is working in Peer Support and being part of the creation and implementation of initiatives related to mental health and psychological wellness for public safety personnel (PSP's). Beth is also a spouse of a first responder and, a child of a first responder, and recognizes the stresses of the profession through many lenses.
Beth is a board member on Resilient Kids Canada, Mariposa Gymnastics club and the Robert Land Academy. She also sits on the Provincial Government’s Mental Health Secretariat Collaborative Table’s Joint Knowledge Sub-Committee (with the Ministry of the Solicitor General) and Communities of Practice (CoP) with the WSIB to assist in making changes for PSP's regarding mental health. She is also working with the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research & Treatment (CIPSRT) on a variety of research projects for PSP’s.
As a subject matter expert in Project Safeguard and Peer Support, she has had the opportunity to speak at venues across North America and has been asked to participate in various podcasts on her work as a leader in first responder wellness. She has been the author and peer reviewer of many articles related to first responder mental health and wellness.
She has completed her Master’s in Leadership and has her PhD in Criminal Justice/Law and Public Policy with an emphasis in mental health.
Hear what Beth has to say about MHC-PSP?
"I wish MHC-PSP had been available when I started my career. Unfortunately I have known far too many members that have taken their life because they have been suffering mentally. One first responder that takes their life, is one too many. Having this assessment and being proactive in one's mental health and the mental health resources that go along with the check, is just...invaluable!"
- Staff Sergeant Beth Milliard, PhD
So, how does it work?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Mental Health Check a diagnostic tool?
Our Mental Health Check is all about the identification of mental health concerns and targeted referral to regulated mental health professionals in your area. While the Mental Health Check does not provide any formal diagnosis itself, it can be easily used by regulated mental health professionals and physicians to support in diagnostic process.
What is the cost of an assessment?
The cost of the Mental Health Check (First Responder Version) is $330. This amount is billed directly to your benefits provider by Life Support Mental Health and is eligible for coverage as a paramedical and/or psychological expenditure. While some insurers don't allow for direct billing, the cost may still be eligible for reimbursement under your plan or under Health Services Spending Accounts where funds are available. Spouses and family of public safety personnel are also provided with the opportunity to take a Mental Health Check (General) at a significantly reduced price of $199.
Note: Special rates can apply to the first responder module (s) based on client process and adoption.
Is my information confidential?
Yes. Those who complete a Mental Health Check can rest assured that their information will remain confidential to themselves and the regulated mental health professional they select to complete a review of the findings. Data security is of the utmost importance to Life Support Mental Health and all information collected is stored within Canada.
Where can I complete an assessment?
The Mental Health Check (Public Safety Personnel Version) is available online at https://mhc.lifesupport247.com/patient-self-registration.
How long does it take for me to receive the results from an assessment?
Assessment results are produced immediately and sent to a regulated mental health professional upon completion of the Mental Health Check. Our system notifies both the client and the selected regulated mental health professional by email that the assessment is completed and ready for review. It is our expectation that clients are reached out to by a regulated mental health professional within 2-3 business days.
How long does it take for the mental health professional to review my results with me?
The Mental Health Check (Public Safety Personnel Version) review process often takes between 20 and 45 minutes to complete, depending on the nature of the overall findings.
How often should I complete an assessment?
It is suggested that the Mental Health Check (Public Safety Personnel Version) be completed yearly. It can also be taken more frequently or immediately following critical incidents.
Anonymous peer support for First Responders, by First Responders.
Boots on the Ground (BOTG) is an independent, external resource. BOTG is a volunteer run organization that provides 24/7 anonymous, confidential, caring, and compassionate peer support to all First Responders including Police, Fire, EMS, Corrections and Nurses. This peer support is available across Ontario at no charge and can be accessed at 833-677-2668. This service is provided to front line and civilian members, both serving and retired.
Take the next step from the comfort of your home.
Thanks to the Mental Health Check, you are only one step away from the clarity and confidence we all deserve.
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