Yukon NDP urges government to expand presumptive PTSD Legislation to all workers

Reducing stigma around mental illness key to improve access to care 

The Yukon NDP has called for debate this afternoon a motion to encourage the government to follow Manitoba’s lead and expand presumptive Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Injury (PTSD or PTSI) to all workers.

The government has already committed to introduce presumptive PTSD/PTSI legislation for First Responders in the fall sitting of the Legislature. Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson’s motion recognizes that all workers can be exposed to PTSD triggering events.

“There is no doubt presumptive PTSD/PTSI Legislation is needed for first responders, but we’ve seen the limits of this kind of law in Ontario, where nurses don’t benefit from presumptive legislation,” said Hanson. “What about Correctional officers or social workers? A cashier who is victim of a violent theft could suffer from PTSD/PTSI. The reality is that no workplace is completely immune from possible traumatic events. No workers should be excluded from presumptive PTSD/PTSI Legislation.”

The Yukon NDP pointed to Manitoba where all workers covered by the province’s Workers’ Compensation Board benefit from presumptive PTSD/PTSI Legislation since January 2016. The measure doesn’t increase coverage to workers as PTSD/PTSI is already a compensable condition but it reduces the administrative burden on workers and reduces the stigma associated to mental illness.

“People who suffer from PTSD/PTSI struggle enough without having to go through a complex administrative process at the WCB. We should try to remove all barriers for these people to access the care they need,” said Takhini-Kopper King MLA Kate White. “The Liberal government has an opportunity to show it is truly committed to cooperation and to evidence-based decision making. Manitoba has showed we can make life better for all workers who suffer from PTSD/PTSI – there’s no reason to exclude some workers from presumptive PTSD/PTSI legislation.”

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Motion #52, moved by Whitehorse Centre MLA Liz Hanson:
That this House urges the Government of Yukon to consider expanding the proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act so that all workers covered by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board benefit from presumptive post-traumatic stress disorder or injury (PTSD or PTSI) legislation.

 

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