U of A and Glenrose launch new initiative to study PTSD 'crisis' in veterans and first responders


"Among them is Paul Semeniuk, a local firefighter who also co-founded an advocacy organization called the Mental Rescue Society, to raise awareness of the stress put on fire personnel.
Semeniuk defines PTSD as stress that has gone on too long, and says, as first responders, “We never know what situation or event is going to boil that kettle.”
He said he was recently called to the scene of a man who was hit by an LRT and later died.
“That incidence kind of rocked my world a little bit,” he said. “I lost sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about that situation, for some reason, so it was that accumulation of stress.”
He said research in the area is long overdue.
“I think that the more organisations and professionals that are investing their time into discovering what it is exactly that causes PTSD in the brain, I think the sooner we can pinpoint the help that is needed,” he said.
Misiaszek said the research is focused on first responders and veterans, but the results will be helpful for all Canadians.
PTSD affects about 9 per cent of the population at some point it their lives, he said.
“We know it’s a fairly significant number of people who are affected. It can be the general population as well. For example, people who are diagnosed with chronic illness, women who have been sexually assaulted also experience PTSD.”
Sarah MooresComment