OTTAWA, May 1, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued a statement in recognition of Mental Health Week:
"This week marks Canada's 66th Mental Health Week. This week is very important for Veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), not only for those coping with operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, but also for the families and mental health professionals who stand by them. We need to keep mental health at the forefront of our priorities, and seek to shine the light of understanding into any dark corners.
"Not every wound leaves a physical scar. The process of healing these unseen injuries is by no means quick and easy. That is why we encourage all Canadians to have candid discussions with one another about mental health and spread awareness and acceptance to put an end to the stigma around mental health once and for all.
"We also take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) for all the hard work they put into starting this conversation—and keeping it going—across Canada. Organizations like the CMHA and the promotion of public awareness throughout Mental Health Week have given Canadians much-needed tools to bring mental health issues closer to the surface.
"The Government of Canada offers a wide range of mental health services, support and information for Veterans, members of the CAF, and their families—including access to a 24 hour, seven day a week, hotline (1-800-268-7708) which is answered by a mental health professional who will speak with callers about their situation and organize one on one counseling.
"This week we urge all Veterans and CAF members to make time to reflect upon their own mental health, take the steps needed to optimize well-being and talk to others.
"Now is the time to GET LOUD for mental health."
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, Phone: 613-992-7468, Email: [email protected]; Media Relations, Department of National Defence, Phone: 613-996-2353, Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811, Email: [email protected]