In Canada, PTSD disproportionately affects paramedics. (Morning Star stock photo).

In Canada, PTSD disproportionately affects paramedics. (Morning Star stock photo).

PTSD awareness lip-sync videos go viral

Lumby paramedics posted a video and challenged others to take part and spread awareness.

In April, the B.C. government announced changes to labour laws that will give first responders and other front-line workers more access to services and compensation for disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It has been reported that at least 52 first responders committed suicide in Canada last year according to the Tema Conter Memorial Trust (TEMA), an organization focused on raising public awareness of the psychological stressors faced by public safety workers and military personnel.

This particular lip sync battle, which is roughly based on Jimmy Fallon’s popular segment on NBC, began in Texas. Several videos of these lip-syncing first responders went viral and with it, so did the competition. The purpose is to promote awareness for PTSD sustained on the job. It has now taken Canada by storm with police, paramedics, firefighters and others across the country participating in the challenge.

Related: Okanagan paramedics in focus for PTSD

Related: B.C. nurses rally over inclusion in PTSD bill

It recently caught wind in Lumby with local paramedics posting a video of their own and challenging the fire department and the RCMP to also take part and spread awareness.

PTSD is an issue that disproportionately affects paramedics, who are usually first to respond to incidents.

This competition comes at an opportune time in B.C.

The NDP government recently introduced changes to the Workers Compensation Act in April that designate PTSD and specific mental disorders as “presumptive conditions” that are linked to specific kinds of jobs. This would apply to firefighters, police officers, paramedics, sheriffs and correctional officers. This fun, new challenge has now pushed them — and this issue — to the forefront of public consciousness once again.

Related: B.C. first responders to get better mental health support

Related: Policy prevents advanced paramedic care in rural areas

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