A new mental health app for police employees in Durham Region may spread to other emergency services across Canada.
The Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) launched the new DRPSupport app today in celebration of Bell Let’s Talk Day (https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/) an important event which shines the spotlight on the importance of mental health for everyone.
The development of the app began two years ago when Ontario Shores and the DRPS received a research grant from the Provincial Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development as part of their Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program. The project is led by Psychologist Dr. Krystle Martin, a research scientist with Ontario Shores and DRPS members Holly Britton, Health Wellness and Safety Manager and Cst. Meghan Buckley, Peer Support and Wellness Coordinator. Students from Ontario Tech University were contracted, under the supervision of Dr. Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Associate Dean Industry Partnerships, Associate Professor of User Experience Research, Faculty of Business and IT, to help build the app that was transferred to DRPS.
The app brings together all mental health services and programs available to DRPS employees. The app will be installed on all employee smartphones, making access to important services just a few clicks away.
Once the app has been in the field for several months and fine-tuned, it may be available for other frontline emergency workers.
“This new app really brings together all of the support programs and services we have made available to employees through our Mental Wellness Plan. Sometimes, as police officers, we keep things to ourselves – but that just doesn’t work and we want our members to know that they are never alone.”
Todd Rollauer, DRPS Interim Chief of Police
“We are excited to launch this important tool that will benefit employees of the Durham Regional Police Service. Ontario Shores brings comprehensive mental health expertise and knowledge to support our community and we welcome this ongoing partnership with DRPS.”
Karim Mamdani, Ontario Shores President and CEO
“As we continue to battle COVID-19, conversations about mental health have never been more important. We owe a debt of gratitude to each and every frontline worker in this province, which is why our government continues to support important programs such as this. The physical and mental health of every worker in Ontario is my top priority. I congratulate the Durham Regional Police Service and Ontario Shores for stepping up with creative solutions, right when it’s needed most.”
The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Chris Bovie, External Relations, Ontario Shores
905.430.4055 ext. 6574
DRPS Media and Communications
905.579.1520 ext. 4346