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Written By Dave Seglins & Matthew Pearson, journalismforum.ca

After 20 years reporting on child murders, deadly accidents, suicides, sex crimes and all manner of gruesome stories, Canadian broadcast journalist Colin Butler finally broke.

“I just couldn’t handle it anymore. And I lost it,” he recalls of the day in 2019 when it came to a head.

The father of two children grew furious when his boss assigned him to remain “on-call” on a Sunday – without pay – to await the verdict in a youth murder trial that had been causing him panic attacks and nightmares.

“It was while being admonished by a supervisor that I lost it. And it was sort of the turning point, the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Butler booked off sick – and melted down. The CBC reporter, based in London, Ont., was soon after diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Since then, he’s been intermittently off on disability leave, has undergone treatment, and is now slowly returning to the job he loves.

In November, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ruled that Butler’s PTSD was caused by his work.

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