RCMP has ‘head in the sand’ on PTSD

A retired RCMP officer from Bath has filed a complaint with the Auditor General of Canada demanding members of the federal police force have access to more mental health treatment programs.

Eric Rebiere, 54, who in 2006 left the police force after 24 years, said the federal government has refused to fund treatment for RCMP officers suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other occupational stress injuries (OSI).

Rebiere said he plans to follow his complaint to the auditor general with a similar submission to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

“It is a human rights issue. You can’t put money ahead of lives,” Rebiere said.

“Like the military, Canada has a moral obligation to take care of the RCMP, injured officers and veterans.”

Rebiere said he is a victim of what he describes as a pattern of RCMP veterans being denied treatment for occupational stress injuries.

“My complaint is that Prime Minister Harper, the Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews and the RCMP management in particular the former Commissioner Mr. Elliot have been negligent in providing the funding needed to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other OSIs in the RCMP,” Rebiere wrote in his complaint to the Auditor General.

“Mr. Harper, Vic Toews, Commissioner Elliot know that PTSD exists in the RCMP and has for a very long time,” said Rebiere, who retired from the RCMP two years after being diagnosed with PTSD linked to his NATO policing missions in Croatia and Kosovo.

The effects of PTSD brought an early end to Rebiere’s policing career.

“I was a liability because my head wasn’t in the game anymore because of my injury,” he said.

“I had to pull myself off the road on several occasions because I was fearing that I was going to kill or hurt someone in the public.

“I was a liability to the public. I was a liability to myself and I was a liability to my fellow officers.”

Rebiere said he wants the federal government to allow RCMP officers access to a program similar to the Canadian Force’s Occupational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program.

Rebiere credits the OSISS program in Kingston for saving his life, breaking him out of a cycle of isolation and depression after he left the RCMP.

Earlier this year, the RCMP announced it was abandoning two-year old plans to establish its own OSI treatment program, similar to the Canadian Force’s OSISS.

Established in 2001, OSISS is a peer-support network that helps military personnel and their families cope with stress injuries, such as post traumatic stress disorder. The program connects those suffering from stress injuries with veterans who have recovered sufficiently to help others…..Continue reading→

 

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About briandmahan

Following a catastrophic automobile accident several years ago, I began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was hit by one of two cars that were racing on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles. And, although I walked away from the accident, I began to have several FULL-BLOWN panic attacks a day (I didn’t even know they were panic attacks; I just thought I was going crazy). But, after just a few sessions with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, my anxiety and panic attacks ceased and I haven't had one in 9 years. In fact, my life changed so dramatically and quickly, I decided to train in the same technique. Upon completing a three-year training program studying Somatic Experiencing, the work of Peter Levine, PhD., my self-obsessed passion for healing and personal transformation shifted. I've been blessed to be able to help and assist other survivors of unresolved past traumatic events, who suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depression and Stress to feel safe, joyful and to take take control of their lives again. And, now, I consider that car wreck to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s my passion for the past 9 years to share my story, experience, and know-how with others, like you, who may simply have been trying to heal with the wrong approaches. (You can’t heal a toothache by getting a massage.) I am not a psychologist, a medical doctor or a spiritual healer. I am a trauma survivor. And I have come to understand that PTSD, anxiety, panic, stress and depression are physiological conditions more so than they are psychological disorders. I hold retreats, workshops and free seminars, focused on establishing a sense of safety and re-awakening embodiment through healing stress and trauma. I also offer one-on-one sessions both face-to-face for local clients and by Phone and SKYPE for clients nationwide and internationally.
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