Advocating for mental health
The stress and unique circumstances that our military men and women face often makes the transition back to civilian life challenging. Some develop operational stress injuries (OSIs) including invisible wounds such as PTSD, depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and other conditions that interfere with daily functioning. The Royal Canadian Legion is advocating for government to improve research, care and access to services and supports for OSIs.
Primary advocacy position(s) on this issue:
- Government must develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans.
- Establish a second Veteran care centre that offers in-patient and out-patient services to address the unique mental health needs of Veterans.
- Mental illness education, counselling and training is desperately needed for Veterans, their families and support network.
- Government must de-stigmatize mental health in the military and Veteran community and ensure policies and practices treat mental illness as they would a physical injury.
- Research is needed to understand the causes, impact of and treatment of operational stress injuries and mental illness in the Veteran community.