About PTSD


Post-traumatic stress disorder (also called PTSI – for injury) can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster. Most people have some stress reactions after a trauma. If the reactions don’t go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD. It can be the result of serious single traumatic event or the cumulative effects of prolonged exposure to traumatic events.

The Good News Is That PTSD Is Treatable

Unfortunately, many health care providers are not always able to link the symptoms with the diagnosis. Making people aware of PTSD, including individuals whose loved ones have experienced a traumatic situation, is one of the best ways to assist in accurate diagnosis – Diagnosis that can lead to treatment, and eventually:

Healing, Growth and Recovery

PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of a job, an accident, war, or natural disaster and many more. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can military personnel, emergency personnel and rescue workers, first responders, journalists….to name a few.

The three requisites of emotional trauma:
1. It is as unexpected as fog on a clear day.
2. It is something for which you cannot prepare.
3. It is something that you can do nothing to prevent.


Post-traumatic growth (PTG) can be defined as positive personal changes that result from the survivor’s struggle to deal with trauma and its psychological consequences1. The process of post-traumatic growth can lead to improved relationships with others, more compassion, openness, appreciation for life, spiritual growth, personal strength, and a renewed sense of possibilities in the world. This personal growth extends beyond pre-trauma functioning. Therefore, PTG it is not merely a bouncing back to the level of functioning prior to the trauma, but rather a sense of positive growth beyond pre-trauma functioning. 1-2 Importantly, recent research has highlighted that post-traumatic growth is not the opposite reaction to that of post-traumatic stress; rather these are two separate kinds of responses that can occur within the same person simultaneously, and over time3, and that the experience of distress can actually promote the development of growth.

You can read more about growth after trauma from the American Psychological Association

PTSD for First Responders - Dr. Katy Kamkar


Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect first responders who’ve been exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, and many other causes. Dr. Katy Kamkar discusses the causes and symptoms of PTSD and describes where to get help.

Dr. Katy Kamkar is a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and an Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. She is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators (CAFI) and the Chair of Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association Inc. (GLEPHA), Health and Wellness of Police/ First Responders; and Past Chair of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Traumatic Stress Section. She is also the provincial mental health advisor for St. John Ambulance Ontario’s council. Dr. Kamkar is an advisor for Badge of Life Canada. You can see more information about her in “Our People” section.

A First Responder's Journey to Healing - CBI Health

CBI Health

Their highly specialized and experienced Mental Health Clinicians focus on empowering their First Responder clients to lead functional and fulfilling lives after traumatic incidents.

The above YouTube video, from CBI Health, features a retired police officer discussing PTSD and trauma recovery, particularly relevant to first responders. This video provides insight into the mental health challenges faced by individuals in high-stress public safety roles, and the importance of support and recovery programs. It can be a valuable resource for understanding and addressing the unique mental health needs of retired police officers and other first responders. 

Additional Information can be Obtained from these Canadian Organizations

Centre for Addiction & Mental Health


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

PTSD Association


A non-profit organization dedicated to educating those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals, as well as bringing together society at large to form an ocean of compassion, awareness, knowledge and tools necessary for recovery.


The information provided on our website is not meant to be “all encompassing” nor used as a “check-list” for a member or family member to make a “self-diagnosis” regarding their mental wellness. This Information is not a substitute for professional advice. If you feel that you (or somebody you know) is suffering and may need medical advice, please consult a qualified health care professional. Early diagnosis can lead to effective results for many people so that they do not have to suffer in silence. We cannot guarantee the reliability of any information posted. We are a resource website only, therefore; we are not able to offer support or medical advice for your particular situation.


A short description of the various therapist certifications in Ontario.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists are required to complete a related Masters and Ph.D. program to practice in the province of Ontario that must be research-based and subsequently have a thesis component. They are governed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO).

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Registered Psychotherapists

Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) are registered by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and, like Registered Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists, are permitted to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy.

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Registered Social Workers

Registered Social Workers (RSW) are helping individuals to enhance their well-being. They are governed by the Ontario College of Social Workers.