Minister Blaney Expands Partnership with Veterans Transition Program

Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie (2nd from L) with Tim Laidler, Executive Director of the Veterans Transition Network, Dr. Blye Frank, UBC Dean of Education, and Dr. Michel Laurier, University of Ottawa Dean of Education, premier a new mobile app, PTSD Coach Canada. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)

OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today announced that Veterans Affairs Canada is enhancing its partnership with the Veterans Transition Program to provide the Veterans participating in the program with the opportunity to be the first to test the new PTSD Coach Canada mobile application before it is made widely available later this year.

"The mental health and well-being of Veterans and their families are of paramount importance for our Government. We know that the use of mobile technology continues to grow in the health domain. PTSD Coach Canada uses this medium to deliver needed assistance to those with PTSD," said Minister Blaney. "This mobile application complements the work of mental health providers. It does not and cannot replace them. They remain essential for the assessment and treatment of PTSD."

PTSD Coach Canada is a mobile app that can assist Canadian Veterans, and our men and women in uniform, with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as their families. It is an informational and self-care tool that can provide assistance to individuals with the management of PTSD symptoms.

Today's partnership announcement adds to Minister Blaney's fall 2012 announcement which launched the Veterans Transition Action Plan, a plan which included new support of up to $600,000 over four years for Veterans to participate in the ground-breaking Veterans Transition Program. The program provides group-based support to Veterans across the country. Veterans participating in the program in Ottawa will be receiving the PTSD Coach Canada app so they can have an opportunity to test it out. The Veterans Transition Action Plan also includes a full suite of tools and services to assists Veterans and their families with the transition from military to civilian life.

"When I returned from Afghanistan, I had no idea what PTSD was, so knowing there is now a tool that can assist Veterans in learning about and coping with PTSD is reaffirming," said Tim Laidler, Executive Director of the Veterans Transition Network, the non-profit organization developed at UBC to administer the Veterans Transition Program. "As Canada continues to adapt to the needs of the latest generation of Veterans, innovations like the PTSD coach are great additions to the help available in managing PTSD."

"This app announced by Minister Blaney is a great step forward in promoting PTSD awareness and offers anonymity to Soldiers and Veterans who wouldn't come forward otherwise with their symptoms," said Chris Dupee, founder of the Military Minds Association. "Soldiers and Veterans will be able to benefit from the coaching aspect of the app and Military Minds looks forward to its release later this year."

"Our partnership with the Veterans Transition Program is another way the Department can help meet the needs of Veterans with an operational stress injury and their families," said Minister Blaney. "We are pleased to offer the Veterans Transition Program the first glimpse of this new, cutting-edge tool."

PTSD Coach Canada was developed by Veterans Affairs Canada. The mobile app will be made available later this year through iTunes and the Android Market. 

Image with caption: "Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie (2nd from L) with Tim Laidler, Executive Director of the Veterans Transition Network, Dr. Blye Frank, UBC Dean of Education, and Dr. Michel Laurier, University of Ottawa Dean of Education, premier a new mobile app, PTSD Coach Canada. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130225_C8148_PHOTO_EN_24033.jpg

SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries: 


Janice Summerby
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468

Dace Marsh PR/Media Coordinator
Veterans Transition Network
604-315-1819

Jean-Christophe de le Rue
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
613-996-4649