Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Receives Mental Health Champion Award
Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter received the Carol Mueller Mental Health Champion Award Tuesday morning for the work he has done highlighting and openly dealing with the mental wellness issues first responders confront.
Krauter has been instrumental in changing the culture at Essex-Windsor EMS so that mental health issues are now discussed openly and without stigma. He oversaw the implementation of groundbreaking programs like Peer Support, which sees paramedics trained in mental wellness help peers struggling after particularly traumatic calls. Krauter also rolled out Road to Mental Readiness training to all Essex-Windsor EMS staffers and sessions were recently held for family members of first responders.
“He really embodies the purpose of this award – to reduce stigma, to increase mental health, to look at how we educate people and raise awareness,” said Karen Gignac, Manager of Mental Health Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County.
“He’s striving to create a culture of help-seeking behavior with his EMS team and also with other first responder agencies.”
Krauter played a pivotal role in helping the CMHA obtain government funding for mental wellness programs and he was an Ambassador for the CMHA’s Sole Focus Project, which seeks to raise awareness and ease societal and financial burdens on those with mental health issues.
Essex-Windsor EMS was the first EMS in Canada to support the red epaulette campaign of Wounded Warriors Canada, a national mental health charity that provides mental wellness support and offers programs to Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, first responders and their families.