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Media Release - April 5, 2024


**Port Hope Police Launches Mental Health and Wellness Strategy**


Port Hope, ON – April 5, 2024 - The Port Hope Police is proud to announce the implementation of its innovative Mental Health and Wellness Strategy, developed in partnership with Mental Health Checks, Lorie Blundon, Wounded Warriors Canada and Military Veteran Wellness Program. This pioneering strategy is aimed at ensuring the well-being of our officers and staff by prioritizing mental health support and resources.

Mental Health Checks utilizes their expanding platform to offer assessment tools designed to provide insights into individuals' mental wellness through evidence-based questions. These tools enable a timely and consistent review and triage of mental health issues, providing a pathway to qualified mental health support when needed.

Integral to this initiative is the involvement of Lorie Blundon, a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with expertise in mental health support. Lorie has met with, and will continue to meet personally with, Auxiliary, Civilian, and Uniform members of the Port Hope Police Service on her personal time. Her role ensures that all members have access to a confidential space where they can share their experiences and concerns openly.

As well as her private practice, Lorie has a significant role at Fleming College, as Academic Chair at the School of Health and Community Services. Her involvement in redeveloping the Police Foundations and developing the new Community Collaboration in Addictions and Mental Health (CAM) course indicates her dedication to addressing critical issues within these fields. The courses focus on "Policing for Today: Building Equity, Diversity & Resilience" suggests a contemporary approach that considers the evolving landscape of law enforcement and community needs.

In addition, the Port Hope Police is proud to announce a partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, a nationally recognized mental health service provider dedicated to serving ill and injured Trauma Exposed Professionals and their families in both official languages. Their range of clinically facilitated programs has been developed to support the unique needs of Veterans, First Responders, and their families.

Wounded Warriors programs support individuals, couples, spouses, surviving family members, and children of those who serve or have served our country and communities. This collaboration further strengthens the support network available to Port Hope Police members, ensuring access to specialized mental health services and resources.

Lastly, the OACP (Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police)  offers our officers The Military Veteran Wellness Program (MVWP), which provides important enhanced support for military veterans, and increased training and awareness opportunities for law enforcement to assist veterans in crisis.

The program was developed by the Toronto Police Service in collaboration with the Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans affairs Canada, Royal Canadian Legion, Operational Stress Injury Social Support, and many others. The MVWP was launched in summer 2022 and endorsed by Solicitor General Michael Kerzner.

Chief Farquharson expressed the importance of this initiative, stating, "The mental well-being of our officers and staff is of utmost priority. By providing our team with access to these invaluable resources, we are empowering them to navigate the challenges of policing while maintaining their mental well-being."

The Port Hope Police Mental Health and Wellness Strategy underscores the organization's commitment to prioritizing the mental health of its members while also ensuring the delivery of effective and compassionate policing services to the community.