The healthcare environment presents challenges for staff unique to this context. PSTR was launched in 2018 to promote the psychological health and safety of staff across the hospital. The program responds to need for wide-ranging, confidential, and accessible support and leadership to foster wellness and mental health awareness. There is no restriction on the nature of the issues for which staff may seek support.

PSTR is the first hospital-wide program of its kind in Canada providing individual support, trauma response, education, and consultation. The program operates 24/7 with after hours on-call coverage, a Program Manager, two Coordinators, and a network of 73 peers across disciplines representing physicians, trainees, nurses, allied health, corporate and research staff. The program leverages the credibility and compassion of peers through their lived experience. This complement allows tailored matching of staff with peers to provide meaningful support. Further, the program offers group-based support using evidence-based Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) to facilitate psychological decompression following a traumatic event. This enables re-stabilization within a team while restoring cohesion and team functioning.

A variety of program initiatives have been developed. A customized mental health workshop supports new graduate nurses while the complementary family workshop facilitates understanding of the demands within nursing and impact on mental health. A dedicated peer team supports staff throughout the Serious Safety Event review process to mitigate stress and provide emotional support. Further, the program has turned to research and has in addition drawn international attention to consultation in peer program development and training.

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