The Campbell River RCMP stated that though over the course of the last ten years awareness has grown around mental health, there is still a long way to go.
Local officers train in critical incident de-escalation, which has a focus on people in crisis. According to an RCMP press release, that training allows officers to deal with situations where people are experiencing crisis and that most of the time situations are dealt with without force.
“It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but situations that police are called into are typically already escalated and far from perfect,” it continues.
However, emergency workers themselves are not immune to mental health issues, and are in fact more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.
The media relations officer Maury Tyre shared some of his own experiences with mental illness. He explained how some incidents in 2017 took a toll on his mental health, which was starting to affect both his personal and professional life.
“I reached out and fortunately found helping and understanding hands everywhere. I was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I felt angry… all the time, which was just not who I had ever been,” he said. “I was the guy that was all about raising other people’s spirits and putting myself into other people’s shoes so that I could show understanding, but I wasn’t capable of doing that any more.”
Tyre said he received treatment from his family doctor, the Occupational Stress Injury Clinic (which serves RCMP and Canadian Forces), and help from his family and friends.
“I found my way out from under the dark cloud I’d been living under for at least a year and found a renewed interest in living my life instead of being a zombie walking through it,” he said. “The reality is though, it took work and some really hard looks at the way in which I processed the difficult information I was faced with on a day to day basis.”
Tyre asks that anyone experiencing mental health issues reach out, seek help and be honest with people.
“When people ask how you are doing, be honest with your response. If you’re stressed you’re stressed, if you’re good your good, if you’re angry you’re angry,” he said. “If you know someone battling with Mental Health concerns, please, reach out and show them you care, not just today on World Mental Health Day, but everyday.”
For those experiencing mental health issues, visit https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/mental-health-substance-use/resources/crisis-line for help line contact information.