Cst. Emma Hyde is a 22 year police officer with the Vancouver Police Department and currently works in the VPDís Peer Support Unit. Through her own life experiences and her years working in operational policing, Emma has developed a passion for making sure her peers have the support necessary to navigate the mental health challenges which come with a career in law enforcement. Emma joined the VPDís Critical Incident Stress Management Team in 2008 and became the Coordinator of the team in 2014, the first step in developing a successful and busy Peer Support Unit at the VPD. Emma also coordinates and instructs the VPDís Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) Program and is a certified Master Trainer with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Emma has taught mental health awareness, coping strategies, stigma reduction and leadership skills to first responders both in BC and Ontario.
She is proud to be involved with the First Responder Mental Health Steering Committee and lives in Bellingham, Washington with her family.
Peer Support Panel: Panelists Emma Hyde, Vancouver police constable; Lindsay Kellosalmi, coordinator of the Peer Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program; and Scott Young, Coquitlam fire captain, will participate in this moderated session about best practices in peer support and CISM including: team selection, training, and how they are promoting positive mental health in their first responder communities.
Session: A Case Study - Vancouver Police Department
Description: In 2014, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) became the first municipal police agency in the province to create a full time peer support position to support the mental health of its sworn personnel. The VPD had used peers in their Critical Incident Stress Management Team for over 20 years, but this new peer support position was considered an important step towards recognizing the need for greater mental health resources and training. Although critical incidents and the trauma associated with police work have long been acknowledged by the VPD as a workplace challenge, the expanded role of peer support was an innovative way of addressing the impact of other life stressors, which can lead to mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. By using peers to provide mental health training (Road to Mental Readiness) and to break the stigma of talking about mental health, the Peer Support Unit has been successfully changing workplace culture and supporting a healthier work environment. The Peer Support Unit has grown from one full time position to three and continues to provide training, support and referrals to VPD officers and their families.