CANADA: Ottawa, Military in Joint Offensive to Save Soldiers from Suicide

October 20, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Globe and Mail

The Canadian Departments of National Defense and Veterans Affairs are collaborating on a joint strategy to prevent suicide among military service members and veterans. In response to rising suicide rates among Afghanistan war veterans, the strategy aims to address mental health risks both during and after deployment. It includes plans to provide military medical staff with suicide prevention guidelines; examine whether new recruits should receive more thorough mental health screening; develop a suicide prevention program for deployment operations; and create a transition group to support service members during and after discharge. The strategy also includes mental health first aid training for families and caregivers of veterans in how to recognize and respond to those in crisis. Chief of the Defense Staff Jonathan Vance said that the military is working to spread awareness about mental health conditions and encourage service members to seek help when they are struggling. Said Vance, “We have to do everything we can to prevent every suicide.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide prevention among military service members and veterans.