First Responders Gather to Raise PTSD Awareness
Prince George, B.C. – First responders, veterans, mental health professionals and others gathered at Veterans Plaza this afternoon to raise awareness around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The 22 Push-Up Challenge was organized by local veteran Joe Elliott of Branch 43 of the Royal Canadian Legion and spokesperson for the Legion’s Operational Stress Injury Special Section.
The decision to do 22 push-ups was no coincidence as statistics reveal approximately 22 American veterans commit suicide everyday while 35 Canadian veterans and first responders have taken their lives so far this year.
Prince George paramedic Rob Pritchard said he participated to not only support veterans but because PTSD is an issue “near and dear to our hearts.”:
“Many of our paramedics have battled this over the years and have lost the battle so it’s something that’s foremost on our mind everyday you go to work.”
Prince George RCMP Supt. Warren was also present to support “the cause.”
“PTSD is commonplace for our country and one can never truly measure the impact of putting yourself in harms way.”
Elliott appreciated the support but says more needs to be done to help.
“The Royal Canadian Legion is the best organization available to deal with this but we need more. We need more money, we need support federally and provincially.”