Quick Exit

Skill Building:

Everybody worries at times. PSP family members may worry about the risks and dangers associated with PSP work. This is understandable. Worries can be helpful, as they can urge preparation and planning for challenging events. However, worries become a problem when they happen a lot, make it hard to focus on other things, and feel like they “spiral” out of control.
Families may find that seeing or hearing certain things increases their worries. This could include hearing about traumatic events on the news, social media, movies or TV, or through conversations. Identifying what increases worries and focusing on not adding “fuel” to these worries can be helpful. It can also be useful to talk as a family about these concerns. Family talks are a chance for PSP family members to share accurate and reliable information about the job. Having these important talks not only reduces worries but also strengthens mutual support for families.


Things to consider…
  • Paying attention to what increases worries. These are often issues related to the risks associated with PSP work.  
  • Discussing together what increases worries or family tension.    
  • Cutting back on (or cutting out) media that increases worries (e.g., turning off the news, putting phones away). 
  • Practicing what you can say or not participating in conversations that increase worry (e.g., “I actually don’t want to hear about this.”) 
Do you want to know more about this?

If you are experiencing significant worry or anxiety that interferes with your day-to-day life (e.g., work, relationships, sleep, or other important parts of your life), it is recommended that you consult your health care provider. For additional information about anxiety visit: Anxiety Canada.

Free, internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) courses for managing anxiety, as well as other mental health concerns, are available for both PSP and SSOs (spouses or significant others)  who live in Canada. For more information, click here.

Skill building:
Discussing Concerns

Couples might find it helpful to set aside time to have an open conversation about worries. This can include discussing feelings and asking questions and learning about the PSP’s job, the risks involved, and information about PSP training and safety protocols.  

It may be useful to consider the following story about Chantal and Jean-Paul. They are fictional characters, but their story comes from real experiences that PSP families have shared. This story begins early in the relationship and illustrates some of the worries and challenges that PSP couples can face.  As you watch the video below (around 4 minutes) about Chantal and Jean-Paul, consider your own story, the changes that have occurred, and the ways you have adjusted to this way of life.

Need Something More?

Check out our self-directed Spouse or Significant Other Wellbeing Course.

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References for this page (click to expand)

Sharp, M.-L., Solomon, N., Harrison, V., Gribble, R., Cramm, H., Pike, G., & Fear, N. T. (2022). The mental health and wellbeing of spouses, partners and children of emergency responders: A systematic review. Plos One, 17(6), e0269659. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269659