Road to 

Mental Readiness

Program Title:

Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR)

Program Blurb:

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?

Y

Aspects of the program are built on psychology research into reducing stigma and dealing with stress. 

Has the program been independently evaluated?

Y

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?

N

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?

N

Neither study has yet to be replicated.

Was the program tested in Canada?

Y

Yes. See Carleton and others 2018 and Szeto and others 2019.

Comments/Cautions:

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.

​Suggested Readings:

  • 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

Revisions:

This Assessment was updated on October 26, 2019 following the release of the Szeto paper.

© 2020 by the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing
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