Charity Encourages Department of Defence to Focus on
Reservists--Volunteer Soldiers Who Live in Communities and Have Been
TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Wounded Warriors, Canada's pre-eminent
charity for funding activities and initiatives for mental health and
physical injuries suffered by soldiers while deployed since 1990,
applauded the Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter
MacKay, today for his commitment of $11.4 million of new money
yesterday to provide more assistance to soldiers suffering the hidden
mental wounds of their time in Afghanistan.
"This is a good step in the right direction and we applaud the Minister
for this initiative" said John Wright, Chair of Wounded Warriors
The Minister indicated that of the 39,000 Canadian soldiers who served
in Afghanistan — many more than one tour— 13.5 per cent are suffering
from post-traumatic stress disorder or have been diagnosed with other
mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety disorders,
according to the defence department.
"We know that this is needed for those who have been diagnosed, but we
also know that there are many who have not presented to date,
especially those volunteer, part-time, reserve soldiers who are full
time warriors when deployed", said Wright.
Reserve soldiers ("Reservists") are not full time soldiers in the
regular force ("held in reserve") but rather those who volunteer to
serve and at the same time hold down full time private or public sector
jobs in their communities. They are attached to local regiments in
community armouries across the country, and train on weeknights and
weekends. Approximately 30 percent of the Canadian troops who have
served in Afghanistan have been Reservists.
The Minister stated publicly that "It is difficult to quantify the
extent of the issue because the effects (are) not identified until, in
some cases months, even years after soldiers returned".
"Wounded Warriors Canada encourages the Minister to apportion much of
this new funding and its intentions to focus on our communities where
our Reservists are, to urgently get an accurate picture of how many
have been affected and to formulate locally-based strategies and
solutions for their treatment. We look forward to working with the
Minister, Veterans Affairs and other agencies to address these issues
both now and in the future" Wright said.
To follow: Twitter: @WoundWarriorCa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/2431856118/, woundedwarriors.ca
About Wounded Warriors.ca: Founded in 2006, Wounded Warriors.ca is a
non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces members - be they
full time or reservists - who have been wounded or injured in their
service to Canada since 1990. We help find solutions for current and
former members of the Canadian Forces where gaps have left them in
need. While providing programs to all members of the Canadian Forces
who have been wounded or injured, our primary focus is on reservist
mental health. Our secondary focus is on physical health support, and
tertiary focus is on life skills development for all members of the
Canadian Forces who have been wounded or injured.
SOURCE: Wounded Warriors.ca
For further information:
Victoria Ollers, 416-822-2288, firstname.lastname@example.org; Paul Tyler, 905-235-2731, email@example.com