Service members stopped momentarily as part of Bell Let’s Talk day to have important conversations about mental health.
Chief Mark Saunders and Wellness Manager Ivy Nanayakkara raised the Bell Let’s Talk flag at headquarters on the morning of Jan. 27 with fellow Command officers and the Wellness team.
“When it comes to mental health there isn’t anyone here who doesn’t have someone they know or isn’t related to some one with mental health concerns, so it goes to the heart of every one of us,” Chief Saunders said. “But as a policing family I ask that you take the time to look after your partner, just be there so their voice can be heard and give an opportunity for support – that’s the starting point for everybody.”
The Chief thanked the Wellness team for leading the way in many aspects of mental health and continuing to look for ways to better their response for Service members.
Toronto Police Services Board Chair Jim Hart joined the flag raising ceremony.
“Mental health is so critical for the city as a whole but also for the Service. Our men and women have highly pressurized jobs and have experiences each and every day the average person doesn’t encounter,” Hart said. “It’s critical we understand the importance of all our members.”
He said police officers often encounter people with mental illness in their work so they have to be aware of mental health concerns.
“A lot of work Toronto Police Service does is with people in crisis and the more we understand that the more successful we will be,” Hart said.
The Wellness team also engaged with Service members in the lobby of police headquarters asking they fill out Let’s Talk bubbles on how they encourage mental health.