York Regional Police announced it has established a formal partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, adding an additional layer of mental health support and resources for police service members and their families.

On July 13, Chief Eric Jolliffe and Deputy Chief Tom Carrique presented Wounded Warriors Canada $10,000 in support of the organization. The funds were donated by the York Region Police Services Board, Ride 4 Styles and several internal York police initiatives.

Wounded Warriors Canada offers a wide range of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) programs for veterans and first responders. Their national program is focused not only on the individual
members affected by operational stress but their family members as well.

“We’re pleased to partner with this innovative organization which is committed to the health, safety and wellness of those affected by trauma and occupational stress injuries,” said Jolliffe. ”We see this partnership as a comprehensive enhancement of the support we currently offer our members.”

“(This) announcement recognizes the fact that no one service, association, government agency, or organization will ever be the 100 per cent solution for their members in need of mental health support,” said Scott Maxwell, Wounded Warriors Canada executive director. “When a member is struggling, it doesn’t matter where, when or how the injury occurred. What matters is that our first responders and their families know that we are in this together, working to ensure they receive the help they so rightly deserve. That’s exactly what this partnership is about and we look forward to working with York Regional Police in the months and years to come.”

York Regional Police is among Canada’s policing leaders for its internal programs that recognize and support members struggling with mental health challenges, including wellness training provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Road to Mental Readiness training, the 47-member peer support team and the addition of two staff psychologists, who have developed a mental health support strategy for the organization.

York Police has been a long-time supporter of Wounded Warriors Canada, with members participating in the annual Highway of Heroes Bike Ride from Trenton to Toronto each August. Last year, the local team raised more than $25,000.

On Sept. 7, York Police is hosting To Serve and Savour, a culinary experience featuring some of Canada’s top chefs, live entertainment and dancing at the Magna International grounds in
the Aurora. The fundraising goal of the gala event is $500,000 for Wounded Warriors, while raising awareness of its programs and resources. Visit yrp.ca/serveandsavour for more information and tickets.

Photo: Chief Eric Jolliffe (far right) and Deputy Chief Tom Carrique present cheques to Wounded Warriors Canada executive director Scott Maxwell. They were joined by Wounded Warriors national partnerships director, Steven Topham (left) and Sergeant Andy Cook.