Ottawa, ON - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris marked the start of Mental Health Week in Canada by highlighting that mental health help is always there for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, Veterans and RCMP members who need it.
"It is important that we create awareness of Veterans' mental health care needs and to ensure a continuum of services exist to address their needs now and in the future," said Maguire. "I will continue to work closely with Westman Veterans and my colleagues in Ottawa to make significant investments to ensure that mental health programs and services are accessible for those who need them."
The Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) Mental Health Week encourages people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage others on issues relating to mental health and mental illness. CAF personnel and Veterans are encouraged to join in and to talk about mental health with their colleagues, friends and families.
Veterans and CAF personnel living with mental health conditions need to know that they are not alone. Help is available for those struggling with an operational stress injury (OSI) or any other type of mental health problem. The earlier a Veteran or CAF member seeks help, the sooner his or her recovery can begin.
The Government of Canada recognizes the seriousness of mental illness among Veterans and CAF personnel, as well as its impact on their families, and it remains a top priority for Veterans Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence and the CAF.
Canada's new Minister of Veterans Affairs, a Veteran himself, Erin O'Toole has made a number of recent announcements to further support mental health needs, including the expansion of the VAC Assistance Service to provide more short-term psychological counselling services-from 8 to 20 sessions per issue-to Veterans and their families.
Maguire concluded, "I continue to stand up for our local Veterans and be a strong voice for our region. By working together we are improving the New Veterans Charter and getting results for our Veterans and brave men and women in uniform."