Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Mental health services available to RCMP members

In 2013, the RCMP began its work to develop a mental health strategy. In doing so, the RCMP Commissioner committed to following the Mental Health Commission of Canada's voluntary standards for psychological health and safety in the workplace.  

The RCMP’s mental health strategy focuses on several key objectives:

  • improving employee awareness, knowledge and understanding of psychological health problems impacting the RCMP;
  • strengthening our commitment to maintain an inclusive, healthy and respectful workplace;
  • improving employee understanding of their respective roles in the prevention, early detection and intervention of psychological health problems;
  • where possible, reducing the presence and/or impact of psychological risks, and enhancing employees' capacity to manage remaining risks;
  • ensuring that those in leadership positions within the RCMP are responsible and accountable for providing employees with available support services as early as possible; and
  • measuring our psychological health and safety performance as part of the organization’s annual management review process.

The RCMP's Occupational Health Services (OHS) currently has 11 OHS offices across Canada available to our members.  These offices are comprised of specialized health practitioners who screen and monitor all members to identify mental and physical health risks and support their health, safety and fitness for duty. 

If an RCMP officer, referred to as regular member (RM), is showing signs of, or is diagnosed with, a mental health condition, they are screened for risk of impaired responses or sudden deterioration in their capabilities.  Their operational responsibilities would then be adjusted in accordance with their limitations and restrictions while, at the same time, supporting their treatment.

High-risk duty areas receive increased focus and monitoring to ensure employees are being assessed on an ongoing basis. Work-related health issues -- whether physical or mental -- are taken very seriously. 

Services provided through the RCMP’s health services teams to members who are suffering from a psychological health problem include:

  • medical doctors;
  • psychologists;
  • occupational health nurses;
  • occupational safety officers;
  • disability case managers;
  • return to work facilitators; and
  • duty to accommodate coordinators.

In addition, eligible members may receive treatment at a Veterans Affairs Canada or Canadian Forces OSI Clinics when referred by a member’s Health Services Officer or their treating physician. As well, a wide range of external services are available to RMs through provincial/territorial health care programs and community service providers.

RCMP officers have direct access to Canadian medical and psychological practitioners of their choice; inclusive of general physicians, psychiatrists, and community-based psychologists. The RCMP’s Health Care Entitlements and Benefits Programs allow coverage for the following:

  • An eligible member is covered for personal or group counseling by an approved psychologist without a referral or authorization for a maximum of six hours followed by a further six hours when preauthorized by the divisional psychologist per calendar year. 
  • An eligible member is covered for couple or family counseling by an approved psychologist without a referral or authorization for a maximum of six hours followed by a further six hours when pre-authorized by the regional or divisional psychologist per calendar year.
  • An eligible member and his/her dependants may receive further couple or family treatments if preauthorized under the occupational health care level for work-related factors such as when the member is diagnosed with an OSI. 
  • Eligible members may also receive further personal psychological treatment if preauthorized under the occupational health care program.  

Periodic Health Assessments

Periodic Health Assessments are mandatory every three years for all Regular Members. These assessments help ensure that a member is fit to perform their assigned duties and it helps identify if the member's occupation is having a harmful effect on their health. If a member performs high–risk duties, assessments may occur more frequently.

Employee Assistance Services

In addition to the services above, all RCMP employees and their dependents can access the Employee Assistance Services (EAS) provided by Health Canada. EAS provides employees with eight hours of counseling per issue. Issues can be work related or personal in nature, and there is no limit to the number of issues an employee can request assistance with.

RCMP Veterans

RCMP Veterans may be eligible to receive a wide range of services administered by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). These services include:

  • disability pensions;
  • health benefits and services; and
  • access to OSI Clinics.

RCMP Veterans may receive one or all of the following services:

  • counseling;
  • case management;
  • screening;
  • referral;
  • information;
  • advocacy support; and
  • assistance in accessing programs from VAC or other community agencies.

Veterans Affairs Canada provides the above services through their respective multidisciplinary team of health care experts. The RCMP does not have information pertaining to current number of VAC resources assigned to RCMP Veterans.

How many RCMP members have PTSD?

For privacy reasons, the RCMP does not maintain data regarding the reasons why RCMP officers seek health services either internally or through VAC.  However, data provided to the RCMP by VAC indicates that as of March 31, 2013, there were 2,236 RCMP members (both serving and retired) in receipt of partial or full disability pension for PTSD.