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