Canadians are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health in the workplace. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has identified workplace mental health as a strategic priority, and recognizes that sometimes traumatic events occur in the workplace and have an impact on workers’ mental health.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can occur after a person is exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation. Not surprisingly, a lot of attention has been paid to treating and preventing PTSD among military personnel, police, firefighters, and other first responders including those in healthcare. Among nurses, post-traumatic stress can lead to compassion fatigue, lower healthcare quality, and lost work time. However, much less is known about the risks faced by psychiatric workers, the very people who provide daily treatment and care for people with serious mental disorders.