Facing ‘our present crisis’: UAlberta, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital announce new initiative to combat PTSD

    Approximately 20 per cent of first responders face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their careers.

    By Laurie Wang on November 23, 2017

    When there is a crisis, most people run away, but first responders are the first to run in. 

    Approximately 20 per cent of first responders face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their careers. The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Alberta Health Services’ Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital announced the first Military, Veterans and First Responder Rehabilitation Health Research Collaborative to serve the needs of these important groups and launch research into PTSD, operational stress injury and moral injury.

    “PTSD is our present crisis as rehabilitation and health-care professionals, experts and researchers. Together, we must face this ‘crisis’ and continue to work to improve research, innovation, rehabilitation and mental health for our military, veterans, first responders and their families,” said John Misiaszek, associate dean, research, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

    The initiative will provide a unique partnership between the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Alberta faculties, military, veterans and first responders’ agencies, and other post-secondary institutions including NAIT, Veteran Affairs Canada and Covenant Health. The administration of this new entity will be initially sponsored by the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

    “We will conduct research into various aspects of their work and lives that is translated into better health for our military, veterans and first responders,” said Gary Faulkner, director, research and technology, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. “We will develop policy and innovation around rehabilitation, provide training opportunities and facilitate collaborative opportunities with local provincial, national and internationally based researchers and organizations.”

    The Collaborative’s focus is to serve our military, veterans, first responders and their families. Through research, education and service, we will improve the health and well-being of military personnel, veterans, first responders and their families and create understanding of the needs of these important groups.

    “They serve our country and people so humbly and through this collaborative, we want to serve them,” said Isabel Henderson, senior operating officer, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.  

    One of the first tasks for this Collaborative will be to launch research into PTSD, operational stress injury and moral injury. The intention is to begin this initiative early in the New Year and to have the research programs underway by the middle of 2018.

    “Thanks to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation for providing more than $100,000 towards research in PTSD. Thank you to Wilson Quan & the First Response to Fashion Event as well as the Fraternal Order of Eagles – Alberta Chapter for your support towards this fund and collaborative,” said Misiaszek.