Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR)
Originally developed by the Department of National Defence, R2MR is a training program with two levels:
One for police employees
One for police leadership
R2MR Primary Course Goals:
To improve short-term performance and long-term mental health outcomes.
To reduce barriers to care and encourage early access to care.
R2MR Leadership Course Goals:
To provide the tools and resources required to manage and support employees who may be experiencing a mental illness.
To assist supervisors in maintaining their own mental health as well as promoting positive mental health in their employees.
Is the program based on research?
Aspects of the program are built on psychology research into reducing stigma and dealing with stress.
Has the program been independently evaluated?
We located two independent reviews of the program (see Carleton and others 2018 and Szeto and others 2019).
The Carleton review found the program results were consistent with other single-session interventions; specifically, there were no significant changes in mental health symptoms, resilience, or work engagement (p > .05). There were small, but significant (p < .05), reductions in stigma at post-training that may facilitate help-seeking among police; relatedly, in open-ended response fields, participants commonly described the training as helpful for changing attitudes and improving communication.
The Szeto study used a pre/post experimental design - measuring attitudes and beliefs before and after program attendance. Researchers then pooled the results of surveys administered to program attendees across 16 Canadian sites. Follow-up surveys were administered at 3 months post-program to see if attitudes shifted. They conclude: "our results indicate that R2MR was effective at increasing participants’ perceptions of resiliency and decreasing stigmatizing attitudes at the pre-post review, which was mostly maintained at the 3-month follow-up."
Was the program rigorously tested?
Neither study met the criteria for a rating of 4 or 5 on the Maryland Scientific Methods Scale. This means there was no randomization used.
Has the program evaluation been replicated?
Neither study has yet to be replicated.
Was the program tested in Canada?
Yes. See Carleton and others 2018 and Szeto and others 2019.
Without an evidence base built on highly rigorous, independent evaluations, we cannot say this program “works.” However, the recent study by Szeto et al. suggests that it shows promise.
Assessor: Dr. Laura Huey, University of Western Ontario
Dr. Laura Huey is the Director of Can-SEBP and Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. She is also a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, Senior Research Fellow with the Police Foundation. and a Research Fellow for the London Police Service. She also formerly sat on the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Crime Prevention Committee and was a member of the Board of SERENE-RISC (a Canadian Centre of Excellence on Cybercrime).
Reviewer: Dr. Craig Bennell, Carleton University
Craig Bennell is the Director of the Police Research Lab and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University with a cross-appointment to the School of Linguistics and Language Studies. In addition, he is a member of the Forensic Psychology Research Centre. He is a previous President of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology and a previous Editor of the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. He is also a founding member of the Crime Linkage International Network and sits on the Executive of Can-SEBP.
R. Nicholas Carleton, Stephanie Korol, Julia E. Mason, Kadie Hozempa, Gregory S. Anderson, Nicholas A. Jones, Keith S. Dobson, Andrew Szeto & Suzanne Bailey (2018) A longitudinal assessment of the road to mental readiness training among municipal police, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 47:6, 508-528, DOI: 10.1080/16506073.2018.1475504
Andrew Szeto, Keith S. Dobson, and Stephanie Knaak. 2019. "The Road to Mental Readiness for First Responders: A Meta-Analysis of Program Outcomes." The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 64(Supplement 1): 18S-29S
This Assessment was updated on October 26, 2019 following the release of the Szeto paper.