YORK REGIONAL POLICE RECRUITS FIRST IN CANADA TO RECEIVE BEFORE OPERATIONAL STRESS (BOS) TRAINING

AURORA – Wounded Warriors Canada is proud to announce that York Regional Police is the first public safety service in Canada to provide their recruits with the Before Operational Stress (BOS) program. This is a game changing moment for public safety in Canada. Providing BOS to public safety personnel at the recruit level takes a proactive approach to mental health protection that will provide members, at the earliest opportunity, with the tools required to help mitigate the effects of the stressors they will encounter throughout their operational careers.

Developed by Dr. Megan McElheran, BOS is Wounded Warriors Canada’s leading trauma informed workplace training program that has been designed to provide public safety personnel with theoretical and practical learning with respect to the impact of operational stressors that occur in the line of duty – including information about the markers of operational stress, common reactions to trauma, and how to use coping behaviours to manage stressful situations when they occur.

The pilot program for York Regional Police recruits is underway, with the class set to receive 8 hrs of training facilitated by Dr. Andrew Carlquist who maintains techniques and industry best practices to support each member as they reflect on personally held values, thoughts, feelings and beliefs regarding the content.

Dr. Megan McElheran, Chief Clinician of Wayfound Mental Health Group and BOS Program Developer, commented, “We are so proud to work in partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada and York Regiona Police to offer BOS training for recruits.  We hope that by arming new public safety members with proactive psychological tools to protect their mental health in the line of duty, that we will contribute to reduced rates of disabling psychological injuries.  Our sincere gratitude to York Regional Police and the new recruit class for taking such a groundbreaking step relative to mental health and its members.”

York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween commented,The wellness of our members remains a key priority for York Regional Police. Early intervention is essential in providing our members with the knowledge and skills to cope with the stressors they will face in their career. We recognize that being proactive in providing training and awareness about the stressors early on in a police officer’s career is a necessary step to officer wellness in the long term. We’re grateful for the partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, who will deliver the Before Operational Stress (BOS) program, that will help YRP build on our existing Wellness Strategy and start our new members on the path towards sustaining long and healthy careers.”

ABOUT THE BEFORE OPERATIONAL STRESS (BOS) PROGRAMBOS is the only empirically supported resiliency program in Canada. The Wounded Warriors Canada BOS (Before Operational Stress) program has been carefully designed to provide public safety personnel with theoretical, practical and experiential learning to enhance their resilience and mental health. Developed by Dr. Megan McElheran, BOS is a unique program that brings together cutting-edge clinical approaches with recognized scientific expertise to support psychological health and wellness of public safety personnel over the course of their operational careers.

Why BOS? While public safety employees will continue to be exposed to operational stress, they are not destined to have their lives ruined by the psychological effects of their work. BOS empowers public safety employees to take charge of their mental health. We know that there is information these employees need in order to protect themselves from the effects of operational stress. Further, we know they require practice and support to incorporate this knowledge and these experiences into their operational roles. BOS delivers on these objectives.

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