What We Heard from Yukoners on Proposed PTSD Presumption
In June 2017, the Yukon government asked us to consult with Yukoners to explore the possibility of adding other occupations to the PTSD presumption in future. The government also wanted to know if Yukoners supported amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide for regulations aimed at preventing work-related mental injuries.
More than 200 Yukon citizens and organizations participated in the consultation. The two key findings were:
- Nurses were the most-cited occupation for possible future inclusion in the presumption.
- Most participants supported the introduction of regulations aimed at preventing work-related mental injuries.
You can read the report here.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can result from exposure to serious trauma, ranging from a single experience to prolonged, ongoing exposure. It can occur soon after the triggering event, or it can be delayed by days, months or even years. PTSD must be diagnosed by a qualified professional.
About the PTSD presumption
The Yukon government committed to introducing a presumption for PTSD for emergency response workers by amending the Workers’ Compensation Act. That means, if an emergency response worker gets a PTSD diagnosis, it is presumed to be work-related.
The presumption was passed by the Government of Yukon in the fall 2017 legislative assembly sitting. It applies to firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
That doesn’t mean anything will change for other types of workers. All workers will still receive coverage if they are diagnosed with PTSD or any other mental ailment as a result of events in the workplace. In fact, there is what’s called a “general presumption” already in place that assures coverage for all workers who suffer any injury that arises out of and in the course of employment.