Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course
PSPNET is currently offering the PSP Wellbeing Course with therapist support in certain provinces, and we hope to expand our therapist-supported services to other provinces soon. Meanwhile, we are offering the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course (i.e., a self-help version of the course without therapist guidance) to PSP across Canada.
The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is designed to provide PSP with free education and guidance on simple techniques for managing various mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress injuries.
Specifically, the course is designed to show you how to manage the thoughts, behaviours, and physical symptoms that are impacting your wellbeing.
Some PSPNET clients have very mild concerns. Others describe their symptoms as having a moderate impact, and others report their concerns are severe. We highly recommend seeking help before symptoms become severe. Working on your mental health is similar to working on your physical health – ultimately, it is a daily process, and this course gives you strategies you can use longer-term.
If you have questions about this course or how to sign up, feel free to call us at 306-337-7233 (or toll-free at 1-833-317-7233) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a PSPNET team member can answer your questions.
Am I eligible to participate in the course?
You are eligible to participate in this study if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a public safety personnel (including but not necessarily limited to border services officers, public safety communicators, correctional workers, career and volunteer firefighters, Indigenous emergency managers, operational intelligence personnel, paramedics, police, and search and rescue personnel).
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You currently live in Canada.
- You have regular access to the internet through a computer.
- You have 1-3 hours of time each week to spend on the course for the next 8 weeks.
How do I sign up?
Create a PSPNET account and complete the eligibility screening questionnaire at the link below. A PSPNET team member will then contact you by email to confirm your eligibility and sign you up for the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was this Course developed?
This course was designed to be helpful for PSP who have mental health concerns who are looking for a new way to access services or are faced with 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 Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course?
An 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 has recently adapted the Wellbeing Course for PSP, including First Responders. The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is a version of the PSP Wellbeing Course that does not involve therapist support. We are now evaluating the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course for the first time.
What does the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course involve?
The Self-Guided PSP 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 on a weekly basis over the course of 8 weeks, although PSP will have access to the lesson materials for up to 26 weeks after enrolling in the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course.
There are 5 main lessons but extra materials are available as needed (e.g., to address sleep concerns, social relationships, problem solving).
Lessons are presented in an engaging manner, and assignments are given at the end of each lesson to help with learning strategies. Clients are typically sent automated emails that encourage them to complete the lessons.
How much time does it take to complete the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course?
The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course was designed to take 8-10 weeks for clients to work through the 5 main lessons. Each lesson typically takes clients 1 hour to review the materials online, and 1-3 hours to practice the skills taught in the course, such as using the DIY Guides at the end of each lesson. We highly encourage clients to schedule in time each week to work through the material within 8 weeks. After the first 8 weeks, clients may still access the course materials for another 18 weeks to print off any materials of interest and refer to.
Is support available from therapists?
The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is NOT therapist-assisted. Currently, we are only able to offer therapist-assisted ICBT to PSP in certain provinces, but we hope to extend our therapist-supported ICBT programs to additional provinces and territories soon.
Will my participation in the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing course be kept confidential?
Your participation is confidential. There are, however, some rare circumstances under which we may need to break confidentiality:
- If there is reason for us to suspect there is a risk of potential, imminent harm to you or others (e.g., if you emailed the PSPNET team and described plans to harm yourself or someone else).
- If there is reason for us to suspect neglect or harm to a child, including the witnessing of violence (e.g., if you emailed the PSPNET team and described neglecting or harming a child).
- If a court order requires us to release information.
- If we are required to release information by legislation.
PSPNET is a research facility. 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 course and again at 8 weeks and 20 weeks after enrolling in the course, we ask participants to complete questionnaires to help us evaluate the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course. We also ask clients to complete extremely brief questionnaires every two weeks while using the course. This feedback is reviewed by the research team to help us understand the strengths and challenges of the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course and how to improve the course. We want to understand the extent to which 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.
Is the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course offered in French?
Yes, the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is currently being offered in both English and will be offered in French in the fall.
What is the longer-term outcome of the project?
By the end of the project, we intend to determine the effectiveness of the PSP Wellbeing Course when it is offered in a self-guided format.
How long will PSPNET be providing the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course?
The Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course is currently available. However, our ability to continue offering the Self-Guided PSP Wellbeing Course in the future will depend on several factors, including the availability of funding, the initial results of our research on the course, and the extent to which we are able to provide therapist-assisted ICBT to PSP in your area.