Additional Mental Health and Wellness Supports
To: All BCEHS Employees/Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE Local 873 Members
From: Leanne Heppell, Chief Ambulance Officer and Troy Clifford, Provincial President, CUPE 873
RE: Additional Mental Health and Wellness Supports
We are pleased to provide an update on the planning work that our joint BCEHS/APBC committee on mental health and wellness has been undertaking, working to increase supports for BCEHS employees and their families while developing a long-term mental health and wellness strategy and roadmap for BCEHS.
Over the last year APBC and BCEHS have worked very closely together following guidance from the Ministry of Health and mutual commitments to build a collaborative mental helath and wellness plan and strategy for BCEHS.
The initial supports that we have now Ministry of Health approval to proceed with include:
- Increasing our clinical support and resources through the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program to better support and help front-line staff and their families navigate resources available to them, making it easier to access crucial mental health services promptly.
- Adding resources for all BCEHS staff and their families to the network of trauma-informed and occupationally competent counsellors who provide psychological care.
Working with APBC in the coming weeks, BCEHS will be moving to strengthen our CISM program by increasing our CISM coordinator team to five full-time positions. This work, combined with the implementation of the leadership structure released earlier this month, will enhance and ensure optimum governance and accountability for the CISM program and other essential staff support programs going forward.
This includes developing education and curriculum in psychological safety, workplace mental health, and resilience. Updated educational and support materials are also being developed, together with program evaluation tools, to help ensure program content meets the needs of our employees.
The joint committee will focus on developing a long-term implementation strategy and oversight that ensures our mental health and wellness supports are effective, evidence-based and relevant to the challenging work faced by our profession and BCEHS staff.
Thank you for all you do to support our patients, your colleagues and the communities we serve.
Leanne Heppell Troy Clifford