Advancing Peer Support Programming to Address PTSD and Trauma Among Canadian Public Safety Personnel and Veterans

The Advancing Peer Support Programming project will provide a coordinated national approach to peer support for public safety personnel, enable evidence-based improvements and standardization, and ultimately lead to independent nationally-recognized accreditations.

PeerOnCall and PeerOnCall Support are the mobile health platforms customized for Canadian Public Safety Personnel. These apps have been created to promote early intervention, mental health support, and psychological health and safety among public safety workplaces. As of spring 2023 implementation is happening across the following Canadian services: corrections, emergency communications, fire services, law enforcement, and paramedic services.

PeerOnCall News

Call for Catalyst Grant Applications

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have a final funding opportunity for new projects. The selected projects will be required to build on the project, PeerOnCall. The Catalyst Grant recipients will conduct empirical studies addressing app-based peer-to-peer support for Public Safety Personnel (PSP). Questions must be related to the effectiveness, feasibility, development and/or evaluation of best practices, guidance documents and uptake of the PeerOnCall app. Areas for further relevant investigation may include (but are not limited to):

  • The nature of the peer support accessed by PSP via the PeerOnCall app

  • The app’s impact on PSP and/or their caregivers and families

  • The impact that providing app-based support has on peer providers

  • Providing additional training or feedback to PeerOnCall peer providers

  • Determining the functionality of PeerOnCall as a digital knowledge management tool

  • Implementation science questions related to organizational and individual uptake and use of the PeerOnCall app

The four selected projects will receive a maximum of $100,000 for one year of funding.

PeerOnCall Highlights

Look back on PeerOnCall’s first year.

PeerOnCall at the CIPHER 2023 Conference

In March 2023, CIPHER hosted a conference for all of the PHAC funded projects. This poster tracks PeerOnCall’s first year of progress.

Behind the PeerOnCall App

PeerOnCall and PeerOnCall Support were developed by researchers at McMaster University, supported by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina, and in consultation with public safety stakeholders across Canada.


Thanks to the following funders of the PeerOnCall research.

Project Team

Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) Team

Nicholas Carleton, PhD, R.D. Psych: Scientific Director

Donna King: Associate Director

Donna Dowler: Senior Project Manager

McMaster University Team

Sandra Moll, PhD, OT Reg: Principal Investigator

Jordan Leonard: Research Coordinator

Alana Camporese: Research Assistant

Ami Patel: Research Assistant

Correctional Workers Team

Rosemary Ricciardelli, PhD, Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland: Sector Lead

Diana Gibbons: Project Manager

Brittany Mario: Postdoctoral Fellow

Paramedic Services Team

Renée MacPhee, PhD, Wilfrid Laurier University: Sector Lead

John Prno: Project Manager

Lorraine Downey: Knowledge User

Firefighters Team

Joy MacDermid, PhD, University of Western Ontario & McMaster University: Sector Lead

Robin Campbell: Project Manager

Margaret Lomotan: Project Coordinator

Public Safety Communicators Team

Stephen Czarnuch, PhD, P.Eng., Memorial University of Newfoundland: Sector Lead

Nadine Leduc, MA: Project Manager

Affiliated Institutions

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