As a spouse or significant other of a first responder or other public safety personnel (PSP), your wellbeing and mental health may be impacted by your partner’s job. This course provides proven strategies to help improve wellbeing, assist with managing stress and mental health symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety). It is a good choice if you want to work on your wellbeing on a regular basis for a few weeks. The core strategies are the same ones offered in the PSP Wellbeing Course but provide examples and stories from other spouses of PSP. This means you will be learning the skills that can benefit not only you, but your spouse as well.
This course is accessible to all spouses or significant others of PSP in Canada who have access to the internet.
What to know:
- The course consists of 5 main lessons that you complete at your own pace.
- Each lesson includes assignments that help you apply new strategies.
- There are 20 additional lessons you can review if you are interested depending on your needs on topics such as communicating with your spouse, PTSD, sleep, building motivation, anger, problem solving, etc.
- New Resources were recently added on moral injury, culture, and self-care.
- We will send you emails of encouragement to keep you on track.
- Course materials are accessible for up to 6 months after you’ve finished.
PSPNET Families is a research unit. To this end, we ask you to complete a full questionnaire at the start and end of the course, and some short surveys during the course.
Your feedback is used to help us gauge whether the course is working as intended, and to identify areas of improvement.
You are eligible for this course if you are (1) a past or current spouse or significant other of a (past or current) PSP and (2) 18 years of age or older.
This course was designed for people who:
- Reside in Canada
- Have reliable access to the internet
- Are interested in improving their mental health and wellbeing or preventing mental health difficulties
- Do not report a primary problem of psychosis, mania, or substance abuse
Your participation in the course is confidential. As such, when your information is used for program improvement and research purposes, we de-identify the information used for these purposes. This means that your information will only ever be analyzed and presented in a way such that you are not identifiable.
Why was this course developed?
This course was designed to be helpful for spouses and significant others of PSP who are looking for a new way to access services to improve their wellbeing, perhaps because of barriers for accessing care such as:
- geographical barriers (e.g., difficulty accessing care while posted to remote locations);
- logistical barriers (e.g., shift work limits access to standard service hours, busy work and family life);
- stigma barriers (e.g., perceptions of being evaluated negatively for having mental health concerns); or
- limited resources (e.g., insufficient access).
Who developed the Spouse Wellbeing Course?
An Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT) course called the Wellbeing Course was originally developed at Macquarie University in Australia and was then adapted and researched by the Online Therapy Unit at the University of Regina. The Wellbeing Course has shown success as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. PSPNET then adapted the Wellbeing Course for PSP. The SSO Wellbeing Course is a version of the PSP Wellbeing Course developed for spouses and significant others of PSP.
What does the Spouse Wellbeing Course Involve?
The SSO Wellbeing Course is an internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) program. ICBT involves using the internet to deliver the same treatment content that is normally covered in face-to-face cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic injuries. Lesson materials are presented online.
- There are 5 main lessons, but extra materials are available to provide support for problems not directly addressed in the main lessons (e.g., communicating with your spouse, PTSD, sleep concerns, motivation, anger, problem solving). Each lesson typically takes clients 1 hour to review the materials online. Clients may access these materials for up to 6 months.
- Lessons are presented in an engaging manner, and assignments are given at the end of each lesson to help with learning the strategies. Clients are typically sent automated emails that encourage them to complete the lessons.
How much time does it take to complete the Spouse Wellbeing Course?
The SSO Wellbeing Course can be completed at your own pace over 6 months, but we generally recommend that clients review the materials over 8 weeks. Each lesson typically takes clients 1 hour to review the materials online and then we encourage you to practice the skills on a regular basis.
Is support available from therapists?
The SSO Wellbeing Course is NOT therapist-assisted.
Will my participation in the Spouse Wellbeing Course be kept confidential?
PSPNET Families is a research unit. As such, when your information is used for research and scholarly purposes, we de-identify the information used for these purposes. This means that your information will only ever be analyzed and presented in a way such that you are not identifiable.
What research is being done on this course?
Before enrolling in the study and again at 8 weeks after enrolling in the study, we ask clients to complete questionnaires to help us evaluate the SSO Wellbeing Course. We also ask clients to complete extremely brief questionnaires during the course. Participants may also be invited to participate in a phone or Zoom interview.
This feedback is reviewed by the research team to help us understand the strengths and challenges of the SSO Wellbeing Course and how to improve the course. We want to understand the extent to which spouses and significant others of PSP will engage with the course and also how the course will impact symptoms. These questionnaires do not take very long, but they provide us with important information on your progress and the outcomes of ICBT.
Will the Spouse Wellbeing Course be offered in French?
The SSO Wellbeing Course has been translated into French.
How long will PSPNET Families be providing the SSO Wellbeing Course?
The SSO Wellbeing Course is currently funded until March 2024. However, we hope to continue offering the SSO Wellbeing Course in the future.
Where can I find out more information?
For information about the SSO Wellbeing Course, contact 1-833-317-7233, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create a PSPNET account and complete the eligibility screening questionnaire at the link below. After completing these, you will have access to the SSO Wellbeing Course.