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Canadian military, veterans focus of new mental health initiative

Sept. 20, 2013 – The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) held the first meeting of the newly formed CPA Military and Veterans Section, bringing together Canada's experts in the field of military and veterans’ mental health to network, collaborate and foster evidence-based care and research. 


September 30, 2013
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

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The new section is a unique opportunity for researchers and clinicians
working with the military, veterans and their families to share
knowledge and best practices in treating a population with distinctive
needs that are not well understood by fellow psychiatrists, family
physicians and members of the public.

"Not only can networks such
as the CPA Military and Veteran’s Section foster new knowledge it can
also reduce the lag time between finding out what works and putting that
new knowledge into practice to support military members, veterans and
families," said Dr. Suzane Renaud, president of the CPA.

"PTSD
and other operational stress injuries affect everyone," said past CPA
president Dr. Fiona McGregor. "Over the last 10 years, the Canadian
Armed Forces have implemented a strong, evidence-based and
multidisciplinary mental health program and are leaders in the area of
PTSD and other operational stress injuries. By bringing together
military and civilian psychiatrists who treat members of the military,
veterans and their families, the section offers a unique forum for
mutual knowledge exchange and collaboration to also improve services to
military spouses and children."

General Tom Lawson, chief of the
Defense Staff, thanked CPA for “being a champion in the area of military
members’ and veteran’s mental health

"With the establishment of
this new section, the CPA is continuing to demonstrate their commitment
to the health of our military members, and to ensuring that lessons
learned through research and best practices in the military mental
health community are shared in order to benefit other populations such
as police, firefighters, industry and the general public," Lawson said.

Founding
co-chairs, Dr. Don Richardson – a consultant psychiatrist with the
Parkwood Operational Stress Injury Clinic who works with veterans – and
Col. Rakesh Jetly – a Canadian Armed Forces psychiatrist and the senior
mental health clinical advisor to the Surgeon General – agreed that
there is a need for a continuum of care that supports reservists and
Canadian Forces members throughout their careers with the military, and
as they make the transition to civilian life.

"We are excited to
help launch the CPA Military and Veterans Section," said Jetly and
Richardson in as statement. "We think there’s a lot of potential in
bringing this kind of expertise together in one group."


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