Offering Mental Health Promotion Resources and Support for Public Safety Families.

PSPNET Families is an online wellbeing hub created to assist the varied challenges encountered by those whose lives are connected with public safety personnel in Canada.  

Take a moment below to listen to Dr. Nathalie Reid provide an overview of PSPNET Families in the following informational videos:

Who is a Public Safety Member?

PSP include individuals (career and volunteer) that ensure the safety of Canadians, some examples include but are not limited to border service officers, correctional workers, firefighters, policing, etc. 

The PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub addresses diverse aspects of PSP roles, including the impacts of the logistics, risks, and identities on PSP families through the different stages of a public safety career. Being a family member of a PSP professional is a unique and often demanding experience. PSPNET Families aims to provide families upstream mental health supports by offering information, strategies, and an internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy course.   

Who is a family member?

If your life is in some way connected to someone who is a public safety personnel, the PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub is designed for you. We understand “family” as an inclusive term including all those who are PSP-connected such as parents, spouses, significant others, close friends, adult siblings and adult children who are in relation to a working member of Canada’s public safety sector.

PSPNET Families is:

Evidence-informed: Top researchers in their fields have worked to develop the resources within the PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub. You can have confidence and peace of mind when accessing the PSPNET Families website as all content has been thoughtfully and purposefully curated by professionals with decades of experience.  

Community-focused: PSPNET Families has worked closely with family members of PSP. Each resource has been carefully and thoughtfully vetted by PSP family members and subject matter experts.

Open to feedback and continuously adapting: PSPNET Families welcomes feedback and incorporates community input into their Wellbeing Hub. Visit their website, and look for the blue feedback button on the right side of your screen, or the quick check-in feedback options at the bottom of each information page, if you have something to share. Check back often, as new resources are continuously added.  

Explore the PSPNET Families Website

Families and Couples Information

Varied information pages that provide insights into the logistics, risks, and identities that accompany PSP work

Families and Couples Strategies

Strategies and downloadable skill-building exercises covering diverse topics specific to PSP family life including trauma exposure, family roles & responsibilities, sleep, shiftwork, childcare and more.

The Spouse or Significant Other (SSO) Wellbeing Course

A self-guided internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy course.

Project Resources

Informational Videos

Dr. Heidi Cramm, the lead of Families Matter Research Group, discusses the importance of family members of PSP and the unique challenges and dynamic demands that families face. PSPNET Families is a novel and unique resource designed for and by family members of PSP. 

Dr. Nathalie Reid, Director of the Child Trauma and Research Centre and Co-Principal Investigator on PSPNET Families discusses the reason PSPNET Families created the wellbeing hub for PSP families. The wellbeing hub was designed to offer PSP families resources, information, skill-building exercises and strategies that would support their unique contexts.

Dr. Nathalie Reid discusses how to navigate the PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub. The hub contains information pages tailored toward the lifestyle dimensions that are important to PSP Families. From the Information pages, PSP Families can access the strategies and skill-building exercises for couples and families.

Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, Co-Principal Investigator on PSPNET Families talks about the Spouse or Significant Other (SSO) Wellbeing Course which has been tailored to meet the needs of spouses or significant others of PSP.

The SSO Wellbeing Course focuses on giving practical strategies for managing mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, PTSD, as well as relationship concerns.

Lessons Learned

“What we wanted to do was create a wellbeing hub, an accessible website that would offer PSPNET Families resources, information, skill-building strategy and skill-building exercises that would support their unique contexts.” 

Hear from Nathalie Reid, Heather Hadjistavropoulos, and Heidi Cramm about the lessons that PSPNET Families learned. 

CIPHER Webinar Series: PSPNET Families Showcase

Spouse or Significant Other (SSO) Wellbeing Course

PSPNET Families is currently offering and evaluating a Spouse or Significant Other (SSO) Wellbeing Course. The SSO Wellbeing course utilizes internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) to understand and offer simple-to-use techniques to manage anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. iCBT has been heavily researched and is a proven method to treat various mental health conditions. The SSO Wellbeing Course is designed to be self-guided, meaning there is no therapist involved, and you can go at your own pace. Participation is voluntary and you can stop at any time.

SSO Wellbeing Course Outcomes (July 2023-August 2023)

PSPNET Families Overview: Supports and Research for Families of Public Safety Personnel

Project Team

PSPNET Families is a collaboration between PSPNET, the Families Matter Research Group at Queen’s University, and the Child Trauma Research Centre at the University of Regina, with generous funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada 

Dr. Heidi CrammPrincipal Investigator 

Dr. Nathalie ReidPrincipal Investigator 

Dr. Heather HadjistavropoulosPrincipal Investigator 

Shimona SekharSenior Project Director 

Connect with the PSPNET Families Team