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Pre-Budget Proposals February 2016

The Government of Canada has made a number of welcome commitments to escalate the fight against Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Canada’s military, veterans and first responders, and to invest in research and new programs aimed at suicide prevention.

The Prime Minister has directed a number of his ministries to make fighting PTSD a “top priority” – several have been asked to focus on a number of issues and activities, including:

  • PTSD among veterans and first responders;
  • education, counseling, and training for families providing care and support to veterans and first responders;
  • suicide prevention for military personnel and veterans;
  • a co-ordinated national action plan against PTSD as it affects public safety officers;
  • addressing gaps in services to Indigenous Peoples;
  • increasing the availability of high-quality mental health services.

The first proposal is a joint submission by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) for a far-reaching training program for Canada’s healthcare providers to help in the early diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.

Recognizing the current fiscal reality, the PTSD proposal provides a low-cost, effective solution to addressing a critical gap, while concurrently expanding uptake of existing complementary programs.

The second proposal (suicide prevention) is presented by the MHCC and focuses on a National Suicide Prevention Project.

Suicide is a major public health issue, and all too often the devastating outcome of PTSD, depression and other mental health issues. The MHCC is ready to swiftly deploy a sophisticated suicide prevention strategy in communities across Canada.

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