A troubling report on the mental health state of those who respond to emergencies and save lives in Canada reveals that 58 per cent of paramedics admit to suffering from a very high level of psychological stress.

The ‘Journal de Montréal’ findings revealed that stress translated to suicidal thoughts for over one quarter of paramedics surveyed at Urgences Santé.

Over seven per cent of the workforce has actually attempted to take their own life, and at least eight employees have committed suicide since 2001, according to the report.

Canadian paramedics

The Federation of Paramedic Workers in Quebec (FPESPQ) said the situation is worse for workers around Montreal due to high number of calls.

“They tend to have a lot of calls a day, and they do not have a lot of back up so they are really stressed,” François Trudelle, the president of the federation said.Trudelle says the psychological help offered to workers could be improved because it’s not given soon enough.

A 2005 report proposed radical changes at Urgences Santé, but close to 10 years later, a handful of paramedics say the situation has barely improved.