PSPNET Families is currently offering the Spouse or Significant Other (SSO) Wellbeing Course to spouses or significant others of current or former Public Safety Personnel (PSP).

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The SSO Wellbeing Course is designed to provide spouses or significant others of PSP with free education and guidance on simple techniques for managing various mental health concerns, such as:

  • Low mood
  • Depression
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Posttraumatic stress injuries

It is a purely self-guided course, which means that therapist support is not provided. Some clients have very mild concerns, others describe having moderate symptoms, and some clients report severe symptoms. 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. 


You are eligible to participate in this study if you meet the following criteria:

You are a past or current spouse or significant other of a past or current career or volunteer PSP.
You are at least 18 years old.
You currently live in Canada. 
You have regular access to the internet through a computer. 
You are not reporting a primary problem of psychosis, mania, or substance use. 
You are willing to complete questionnaires to evaluate the SSO Wellbeing Course.

If you do not meet all of these criteria you may be eligible to receive access to the course without participating in the research study. 


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).

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 rather than PSP themselves. We are now evaluating the SSO Wellbeing Course for the first time.

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 on a weekly basis over the course of 8 weeks.

  • There are 5 main lessons, but extra materials are available to provide support for problems not directly addressed in the main lessons (e.g., sleep concerns, relationships, problem solving). Clients may access these materials at any time.
  • 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.
  • Clients will also have access to an Online Discussion Forum as a place to discuss experiences with other spouses and significant others of PSP who are trying to improve their mental health. The Online Discussion Forum is voluntary, confidential and moderated by members of the PSPNET team.

The SSO Wellbeing Course is NOT therapist-assisted.

Your participation is confidential. There are, however, some rare circumstances under which we may need to break confidentiality:

  • If through participating 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 through participating 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 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.

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 at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after enrolling in the study. 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.

The SSO Wellbeing Course is not currently offered in French, but we hope to translate it in the future pending the results of the current research.

The SSO Wellbeing Course is currently funded until March 2023. However, we hope to continue offering the SSO Wellbeing Course in the future if funding can be secured and pending the initial results of our research on the course.

For information about the SSO Wellbeing Course, contact 1-833-317-7233, or email

How do I sign up? 

If you are interested in participating in the SSO Wellbeing Course, please register below and follow the instructions.