You Are Not Alone: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Talk About Their Experiences

Je mourais à l’intérieur – I was dying inside

RCMP Constable Annabelle Dionne. Photo: Lori Wilson, Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
RCMP Constable Annabelle Dionne. Photo: Lori Wilson, Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has distributed a video in which nine members of the RCMP reveal their distress and their experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental illness that contributed to the suicides of thirty Canadian first responders this year, according to the association Tema Conter Memorial Trust.

Sometimes, hiding behind the beautiful red tunic of Canadian police (the Red Serge) is a life in pieces, struggling with post-traumatic stress and on the edge of suicide. This is revealed by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in a video produced and uploaded by Lori Wilson, wife of a policeman struggling with post-traumatic stress.

Constable Annabelle Dionne, described her distress after the death of a colleague:

“I was dying inside, I was no longer myself. I isolated myself, and it aggravated my post-traumatic stress. ” – Annabelle Dionne, RCMP Constable for eight years.

This video was produced in the hopes of reaching new members who may not know the effects of PTSD, those who may be in the initial stages and do not understand what is happening to them or senior members who have been suffering in silence for years. This video is a message of hope to them so they will be able to step forward knowing they “Are Not Alone”.

The Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP, who is also the champion of mental health within the gendarmerie, found the excellent video and decided to post it on the official website of the RCMP. Gilles Moreau recalls that the RCMP has launched a strategic action plan for mental health last year, and that psychological services are available to employees in need. He recognizes, however, that the challenge to reaching more members is to break the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Breaking Isolation

Lori Wilson, the video producer, is the creator of a website designed to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in the RCMP –  Families of RCMP for PTSD Awareness. She made this video in tribute to the Manitoba Corporal  Ken Barker, who took his own life last year  as a result of post-traumatic stress.

“Knowing that we are not alone, it breaks the isolation and makes it more acceptable to talk about it”
– Lori Wilson

Read more at Radio Canada.

Thanks: behindtheredserge.ca and William Rusk

Note: I’ve translated part of this article to English, please forgive me for the mistakes.


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