Canadians who returned from Afghanistan bearing psychic scars find themselves traumatized and out of the military in far greater numbers than counterparts suffering from mental illnesses unrelated to the Afghan mission.
Members of the army are 3.4 times more likely to kill themselves than non-army members of Canada’s Armed Forces and at least 50 per cent more likely to kill themselves than the average Canadian of the same gender and age, a new study has found.
October 1, 2014 – Anna Mehler Paperny and Laura Stone, Global News
The federal government is promising counselling for veterans’ families and smoother transitions between military and civilian life in response to recommendations on how to better serve those who’ve served the country and suffered often crippling disabilities in the process – but says it needs to give more thought to proposals that would improve benefits for those with the worst disabilities and ensure equal treatment for hurt reservists.
For members of Canada’s military, the choice to come forward about mental illness can be agonizing: Anyone deemed “unfit to serve” – due to mental illness, for example, if the Defence Department contends the illness’s roots predate military service – before having completed the minimum 10 years of service loses his or her pension.