The Coopérative des techniciens ambulanciers de la Montérégie (CETAM) in Canada is following in the footsteps of its colleagues in the police departments of several municipalities, including Montreal and St-Jérôme, by offering its members unlimited free access to the services of HALEO, a professional virtual sleep clinic.
This partnership gives CETAM employees unlimited access to innovative sleep disorder programs provided by the HALEO clinic. With more than one in two paramedics experiencing chronic sleep difficulties, according to the most recent studies, it is increasingly common to see North American emergency services offering HALEO services to their members.
“Sleep quality is important to all CETAM members whether they work in an office or as paramedics. Our paramedics, however, have realities that few share, and sleep poses particular challenges for them of which we are fully aware. Once we found out about HALEO’s services and conducted a test with a limited number of members which surpassed our expectations, there was no reason to hesitate. CETAM’s managers believe that HALEO’s support is not just desirable but necessary,” says Martin Benoit, executive director of CETAM, in a release.
The causes of these more prevalent sleep difficulties are particularly associated with the atypical work schedules and high-stress situations they face on a daily basis. Sleep deprivation will have a direct impact on their quality of life on a personal level. At a professional level, considering the dangerous nature of their work, a lack of sleep impacting their decision-making capacity could also have harsh consequences.
HALEO has developed a program specifically designed to tackle sleep challenges faced by shift workers. This program includes one evaluation meeting followed by a 30-minute session per week for five weeks. These sessions are held via videoconference, through the secure HALEO mobile app, with licensed therapists. Thanks to this service, paramedics have access to cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia without having to travel or face a wait that can sometimes reach two years in the case of a hospital-based program.
“As soon as the HALEO program for first responders was launched, CETAM management showed a keen interest in the well-being of its members and a desire to offer them access to the program. We applaud their leadership and are excited to be able to help reduce the impact of sleep difficulties among personnel providing emergency services,” says Julien Heon, vice president of growth and partnerships at HALEO, in a release.