TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of
Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today recognized the
beginning of Mental Health Week in Canada by announcing support for
initiatives to help Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
and their families.
Minister Blaney launched a new PTSD Coach Canada mobile app, which is
designed to help Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and
civilians with PTSD manage their symptoms. On behalf of the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Minister Blaney also announced
$375,755 for a two-year study involving 140 clinicians to examine how
effectively they are using cognitive processing therapy to treat adults
with post-traumatic stress disorder. The funding also included a
two-day workshop for the clinicians.
"Our Government recognizes the seriousness of PTSD among Veterans and
Canadian Armed Forces personnel and its impact on their families, and
is committed to supporting them," said Minister Blaney. "As Mental
Health Week begins in Canada, I am proud to support these important
initiatives which will assist us in addressing the mental health needs
of those who sacrificed so much for their country."
The Ryerson University research project is a partnership between
Canada's largest network of PTSD treatment providers, Veterans Affairs
Canada's Operational Stress Injury National Network, and Ryerson
University professor, Dr. Candice Monson. This collaborative project
will help strengthen the knowledge base of health-care providers, as
well as their ability to provide individuals affected by PTSD, and
their loved ones, with the help and support they need.
"We are proud that researchers at Ryerson University, such as Professor
Candice Monson, are developing innovative treatments to improve the
health and well-being of Canadians," said Sheldon Levy, Ryerson
University President and Vice-Chancellor. "This project provides an
opportunity for collaboration with key research partners. We are
looking forward to seeing how these results benefit those who suffer
from post-traumatic stress disorder."
"Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most treatable mental
health conditions, which affects about 10 percent of Canadians," said
Dr. Candice Monson, principal investigator of the CIHR-funded study
currently underway and a psychology professor at Ryerson University.
"We believe that using cognitive processing therapy to treat
individuals with PTSD will significantly improve the lives of
Canadians. Our study hopes to prove this by training clinicians on this
form of therapy and monitoring its benefits for patients who have
received this short-term psychological treatment."
PTSD Coach Canada is a free mobile app that can help individuals and
their families manage the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Developed by Veterans Affairs Canada, in partnership with the
Department of National Defence and the Canadian Mental Health
Association, PTSD Coach Canada was adapted from the American PTSD
Coach, created by the United States' Department of Veterans Affairs and
Department of Defense. It can now be downloaded to mobile devices
free-of-charge through the iTunes store and the Android Market.
Today's announcements complements Minister Blaney's fall 2012 initiative
that launched the Veterans Transition Action Plan, which included new
support of up to $600,000 over four years for Veterans to participate
in the ground-breaking Veterans Transition Program from the University
of British Columbia. In February, Minister Blaney announced that
Veterans participating in the Veterans Transition Program in Ottawa
would have the first opportunity to test the PTSD Coach Canada app.
"The task of supporting Canadian Veterans dealing with barriers to
transition like post-traumatic stress disorder is complex and requires
numerous layers of assistance," said Tim Laidler, Veteran and Executive
Director of the Veterans Transition Network. "Innovations like the PTSD
Coach Canada app are welcome and helpful additions in the fight against
PTSD among Veterans."
"These mental health initiatives announced by Minister Blaney will
improve the ways that PTSD is treated and will make for a better
quality of life for RCMP and military Veterans," said Cal Small,
President of the RCMP Veterans Association.
For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada's programs and services,
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom,
democracy and the rule of law.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented
education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve
societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its
community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate
programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the
university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300
master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more
than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory
of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the
past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is
Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more
information, visit www.ryerson.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
416-979-5000 (ext. 7161)
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs