CANADA: Calgary Police Service mental health program drawing international attention

October 23, 2015
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Calgary Police Service has implemented a mental health program, Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), to help its officers cope with the stresses in their jobs and personal lives, become more aware of and improve their mental health, and build resiliency. According to Kyle Clapperton, manager of the health, safety, and wellness section at the Calgary Police Service, “We’re seeing a reduction in stigma and an uptick in seeking resources early. That’s a great positive of the program.”  Officers are also learning skills such as positive self-talk, visualization, goal-setting, and diaphragmatic breathing to address stress and improve their performance. Calgary was the first municipality in Canada to implement this program, which was adapted from a similar initiative in the Canadian Armed Forces.  Due to the program’s success with about 8,000 officers in Calgary and several other cities across Canada, law enforcement agencies from other countries are now interested in adopting a similar program.

Spark Extra! Check out the video and discussion guide, Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement, which features police officers in Wisconsin and Colorado.