(D) A Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy was recently unveiled by the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada.
Although a network of programs already exists to identify and get help for those in distress, a Joint Strategy will guide intervention approaches to reduce risks and build additional protective factors, support, and resilience.
(Seamus O’Regan) This strategy is an approach that we have not seen before. We haven’t seen the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Minister of National Defence, and the Minister of Veterans Affairs sit down together in from of veterans and service members and say that we recognize the dire need for a suicide prevention strategy. But that is what we’re doing and that’s why we’re here. This strategy is to ensure they’re well-being. It showcases actions we’re going to take, and many we’ve already taken, and how they work together.
(General Jonathan Vance) We are not without the same concerns that anybody else has facing suicide. We want, and need, more research, more science, more understanding of the mental health challenges that my troops face and that any Canadian faces. We want to make certain that mental health becomes as normalized to medicine and to our troops as physical health. We want to ensure that it is something that is seen as something you can recover from and that you will recovery from and get back to duty or transition successfully into civilian life and beyond.
(Harjit Sajjan) The programs that you will see; this is part of a strategy to bring it all together. Programs from the day a person joins, to build a resilience, all the way through transition. And also making sure that we look after their families because, as you know, their families serve alongside them. And that’s what this strategy is about, ladies and gentleman, making sure that we look after them and their families as well.
(D) If you or someone you know requires emergency mental health assistance, please consult your healthcare provider, local emergency department, or call 911. Help is also available to military personnel at the nearest Canadian Armed Forces health clinic.