(AGENPARL) – OTTAWA (CANADA), gio 10 settembre 2020
September 10, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces / Veterans Affairs Canada
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement in support of World Suicide Prevention Day:
“World Suicide Prevention Day gives us all the opportunity to recognize the tragic impact that suicide has on families, friends, colleagues, and communities, and is a reminder that we can encourage dialogue about suicide prevention.
“The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for all of us to stay connected and support one another rings truer than ever. Each and everyone one of us – through our words and actions – can help to prevent suicide.
“This World Suicide Prevention Day, please reflect on what you can do to have a positive impact on someone’s life. If you notice that someone is suffering, reach out and listen – and encourage them to seek professional help. This small gesture may prevent a tragedy from occurring. If someone confides in you about suicidal thoughts or intent, please show that you care by offering your help and support.
“Key findings from the third annual Veteran Mortality study show that the suicide rate for the Veteran population is higher than that of the Canadian general population. While there are no easy solutions, we remain committed to taking meaningful action on this complex issue by reducing risks and building supports to assist Veterans with their health and wellbeing.
“Suicide prevention is a priority for the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada, and we are proud of the progress made on this issue through our Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy, including the following during fiscal year 2019-2020:
- Hired additional staff hired for mental fitness and suicide awareness training;
- Created more awareness for the mental health supports offered through the You’re Not Alone web page; and
- Offered programs that provide more online support for members and their families.
“The Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy establishes a firm and ongoing commitment to suicide prevention and ensures that we collectively work to do everything we can to support and protect the people who have supported and protected Canada.
“Support and services are available for suicide prevention within the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada. Please seek out help and learn more about the resources available to you. Together, we can work together to support the wellbeing of all serving military members, Veterans, and their families.”
- If you or someone you know requires emergency mental health assistance, please call 911or accompany them—or have someone accompany you—to your local emergency department.
- For less urgent needs, help is available to military personnel at the nearest Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) health clinic. Serving members, Veterans, and civilian employees can respectively call 1-800-268-7708 for the Canadian Armed Forces Member Assistance Program, the Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and the EAP peer referral service. All these services are free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has a well-established national network of approximately 12,000 community mental health professionals who deliver mental health services to eligible Veterans and serving and released Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers with post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions. Additional VAC services include a network of 11 operational stress injury clinics across the country. These clinics are complemented by the Canadian Armed Forces network of seven Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centres, which cater primarily to currently serving military personnel.
- The Veterans Affairs Canada-Canadian Armed Forces Operational Stress Injury Social Support program provides peer-based support to those suffering with operational stress injuries and their families. The program employs full-time peer support and family peer support coordinators, and also has a well-developed volunteer training and mentoring program.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Department of National Defence
Veterans Affairs Canada