Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada and Associate Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day:
“Today, we mark World Suicide Prevention Day – a global initiative to raise awareness and prevent suicide. Losing a military member or a Veteran from suicide is always a tragic event that has terrible impact on their loved ones, community, and brothers and sisters in arms.
“National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada are united in believing that one suicide is too many. There are no easy solutions to this complex issue and every individual who suffers is unique. This matter deserves our total attention.
“We can all do our part to address suicide prevention. On World Suicide Prevention Day, please reflect on how your compassion and empathy – through words and actions – could potentially have a positive impact in someone’s life.
“If you notice that somebody around you is suffering, experiencing mental health issues, or even openly questioning the value of their own life, please offer your help. Your intervention may prevent a tragic loss.
“Support and services are available for suicide prevention within the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada. Never hesitate to reach out and learn more about the resources available to you. Together, we can make a difference.”
- If you or someone you know requires emergency mental health assistance, please seek help through your health care provider, your local emergency department, or call 911. Help is also available to military personnel at the nearest CAF health clinic. Serving members, Veterans, and civilian employees can call 1-800-268-7708 for the CAF Member Assistance Program, the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Assistance Service, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). All services are free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- The VAC-DND Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program provides peer-based support to those suffering with operational stress injuries and to the families who have lived with those suffering from an operational stress injury. The program employs full time Peer Support and Family Peer Support Coordinators, and also has a well-developed volunteer training and mentoring program.
- VAC has a well-established national network of approximately 4,000 community mental health professionals who deliver mental health services to Veterans and serving and released RCMP officers with post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries. Services include a network of 11 operational stress injury clinics across the country. These clinics are complemented by the CAF network of seven Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centres (OTSSC), which cater primarily to currently serving military personnel.https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/Health/Health-Promotion-Program.aspx