by Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program
Military suicides and stories of police or paramedics suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have increasingly become front-page news.
But behind the headlines, the suffering of those who come home from war zones or have treated a young child injured in a car accident only to have them die, is seen as taboo.
Despite their tough professional exteriors, these individuals carry scars which cannot be seen.
While the awareness of PTSD has increased, seeking treatment is not often an easy path for those who wrestle with recurring nightmares, avoidance and overall anxiety as a result of the trauma they faced on the job.
And one of the greatest barriers to treatment is shame.
Evidence informs much of what we do in health care, and that is true not just for clinical interventions, but also for decisions like the implementation of a new organizational policy.
Understanding the evidence base for these types of initiatives can be particularly important when the issue is a challenging one that affects our staff, our clients, and our community.
CAMH’s decision to become a tobacco-free hospital is supported by research that speaks specifically to the issues involved in such a complex decision, and is particularly supported by new evidence that has come to light in the last five or six years. Understanding the link between evidence and policy is a key element to the success of our tobacco-free initiative, so we are committed to clear communication on the subject.
Senior Scientist Lana Popova blogs about her experience at the Canada Northwest FASD Partnership Symposium.
The Globe and Mail recently quoted Dr Jeff Turnbull, former president of the Canadian Medical Association saying that “hospitals need to disappear.” In the same article, Dr Rick Glazier, a scientist with the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences says “we are in need of a truly integrated system.” In the article, several healthcare leaders describe community focused initiatives that can improve the health of individuals and populations. A generative message from the article is that great things are happening that will improve our healthcare system. That point’s lost when the author engages these system leaders in a straw man fallacy. Read more