In June of 2018, the Federal Framework on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act was passed with all-party support by the Parliament of Canada, and became law. The ground-breaking Act recognizes that those in certain occupations, such as public safety personnel (PSP), military personnel, and healthcare providers, are at greater risk of exposure to potentially psychologically traumatic events than the Canadian general population, just by doing their jobs. The Act mandates the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to lead a coordinated, national approach to recognize PTSD and other possible results of these exposures, among those within high-risk occupational groups, and to ensure timely access to mental health and well-being supports for these Canadians.
While the Government of Canada passed the PTSD Act in 2018, its relevance has only increased in significance during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the 2021 Federal Budget committed an investment of up to $50 million over two years to support projects that address the well-being effects of PTSD and other trauma-related conditions in frontline and essential workers, including healthcare providers, public safety personnel, military personnel, veterans, their families, and the service providers who care for them, as they are among those most impacted by the pandemic. CIPHER, and the nine projects it supports, are funded through this 2021 Budget commitment.