For those who serve, guard, and save


Breakwater Institute for Occupational Stress and Trauma is a psychology-led multi-disiplinary organization providing specialized mental health services to those in high-stress occupations, including first responders, military members and veterans, along with their families.

Individuals and organizations working with us can trust that:

  • the nature and stresses of their jobs are understood
  • their sacrifice and service are honoured
  • their individuality is appreciated


We base everything we do on the latest scientific research and keep our knowledge of the science of occupational stress, PTSD, and depression fresh.

We pride ourselves on being familiar with the unique work done by first responders, Canadian Armed Forces members, and those in similar jobs.

We address both the psychological and biological aspects of stress, anxiety and depression through innovative treatments aimed at both mind and brain.

We focus our efforts not only on intervention, but also on building resilience, keeping people functioning on the job, and preventing stress injuries like PTSD and depression.

We make sure that our clients’ privacy and confidentiality are always closely guarded, and that they are treated with dignity and respect at every step in the process.


We believe in promoting and protecting the vitality of our public safety personnel through prevention, education, intervention and research in the field of operational stress.


To use research-based methods to support those who serve, guard and save.


A breakwater is a wall that stands between the calm of the harbour and the chaos and violence of the open sea.

Some people are willing to take on “breakwater” occupations: as their life’s work, they choose to stand facing danger, so that those behind them can enjoy security and peace.

They take on the physical and psychological risks of confronting violence, disorder and suffering, when others might easily choose to look away.

Their work is vital, but it can take a heavy toll.

They can find themselves feeling worn out, angry, high-strung or depressed. It can get harder and harder for them to leave the stress of their job behind when a shift is over.

They can struggle with evils they’ve encountered, or with the consequences of their own split-second decisions.

Sometimes they’ve seen so much that it sours their view of the world and human nature. They can wind up feeling isolated and alone, like no one can possibly understand what they’ve ben through.

We created Breakwater for these people.

Founded and managed by psychologists, Breakwater’s team uses research-based methods and their extensive scientific and clinical experience to help those who serve, guard and save.