Founded in 2016, Resilient Minds started as a partnership between Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) and the Canadian Mental Health Association to develop a program in response to the concerning experiences of fire fighters and stress-related injuries. VFRS had also recognized a skill deficit and gap in education centered around managing stress and trauma responses, which was resulting in an increase of psychological distress and illness across fire staff.
With collective passion and subject matter experts, Resilient Minds was created and first piloted in Vancouver, BC to the 800 members of VFRS. The program quickly captured the attention of many other municipalities in both BC and across Canada.
Fire fighters were directly involved with the development process to create a training program that addressed the unique needs for fire and rescue service.
Over the course of the pilot and with funding from WorkSafeBC, the Resilient Minds team engaged Arbor Educational & Clinical Consulting Inc., an independent researcher. The primary goals of assessment were to understand how the course was experience by fire fighters, their ability to cope with occupational stressors, and if there was a positive shift in workplace culture.
- 100% reported learning new knowledge about resilience and stress management
- 100% reported learning new knowledge about psychological trauma and/or mental health
Resilient Minds expanded across Canada in 2020, supporting a growing number of fire fighters and achieving a national goal to promote healthy behaviours and save the lives of first responders.