Road to Mental Readiness for Families and other Supportive Relationships
- Mental Health Comission of Canada
First responders, whose jobs commit them to persistent, repeated exposure to potentially triggering incidents, are at ongoing risk of developing mental health problems. Work stress, workloads, and work-life issues have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of a substantive portion of Canada’s first responder personnel. Stigma is a major barrier preventing people from seeking help for mental health problems or mental illness and it is the fear of stigma that often delays diagnosis and treatment. The R2MR program for families of first responders is based on a program initially developed by the Department of National Defence and adapted for the special needs of a law enforcement/first responder audience. The main objectives of R2MR are to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses, increase awareness of mental health, and offer resources to maintain positive mental health and increase resiliency. The program teaches family members about the ‘Big 4’: a set of evidenced-based cognitive behavioural theory techniques that can help individuals cope with stress and improve their mental health and resiliency. The Big 4 are positive selftalk, visualization, tactical breathing, and SMART goal setting.