Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
Federal Gov't News
Strahl: Support to Vets Increased
Mental health first aid, more access promised
Released by Robert Pearsall, PA to MP Mark Strahl/Voice file photo
ember of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, Mark Strahl pleased to see new action on mental health support for Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Veterans, and their families.
“Our Government has consistently increased support for our men and women who serve or served our country,” Strahl stated in a press release Thursday. “We have continued that by increasing mental health support for those in the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, and their families.”
The announcement from the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Julian Fantino, includes action on treatment and education, technology, and support to families.
A new Operational Stress Injury clinic will open in Halifax and additional satellite clinics will be opened in St. John’s, Chicoutimi, Pembroke, Brockville, Kelowna, Victoria and Montreal to speed access to mental health services for those with mental health injuries.
The Road to Mental Readiness education campaign will also be expanded to further reach Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families. This program helps increase CAF member and family resilience to mental illness and injury, promotes awareness of mental health treatments, and continues the campaign to reduce stigma associated with mental health.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, will develop a Veterans-specific Mental Health First Aid training program across Canada which will be delivered to an estimated 3000 Veterans, their families and caregivers over the next five years.
The Conservative Government has accepted a number of recommendations from the Auditor General to make the application process for benefits simpler for Veterans. The department will increase the capacity of CAF member health records to be digitized to speed the transfer of medical documentation to VAC.
“These initiatives, which amount to an investment of approximately $200 million, have been developed collaboratively by the Department of National Defence (DND), Veterans Affairs Canada and Health Canada. They reflect the most innovative thinking and evidenced-based approaches to mental health and suicide prevention, leading to world class care and treatment for mental illness and injury,” said the Honourable Julian Fantino, M.P. for Vaughan and Minister of Veterans Affairs.
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