The framework for CAF and VAC action to prevent suicide

Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy
Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada


The CAF-VAC Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy builds on and complements a number of initiatives.

Changing Directions, Changing Lives: the mental health strategy for Canada – Mental Health Commission of Canada | Defines a broad approach for mental health action across Canadian society, involving a wide range of partners and communities.

Working Together to Prevent Suicide in Canada: Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention – Government of Canada Defines the issue of suicide and suicide prevention, and articulates the federal approach to making a difference, including CAF and VAC actions.

Overview of federal initiatives in suicide prevention – Government of Canada | An overview of current federal suicide prevention initiatives that was created in the context of the development of a federal framework for suicide prevention.

Working Together To Prevent Suicide In Canada: the 2016 Progress Report on the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention – Government of Canada | A biennial progress report on federal actions to prevent suicide, building on the strategic objectives from the Federal Framework.

Report of the 2016 Mental Health Expert Panel on Suicide Prevention in the Canadian Armed Forces | In 2016 an Expert Panel reviewed CAF suicide prevention measures, and developed
11 recommendations – accepted by the Canadian Armed Forces – for further action. This work was a follow-on to the 2010 Report of the Canadian Forces Expert Panel on Suicide Prevention.

Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy (2017) | In 2017, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan presented the new defence policy on behalf of the Government of Canada, a long-term, fully-funded plan built around people. This includes: initiative 16, Implement a Joint National Defence and Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Strategy; initiative 15, augment the CAF health system to ensure it meets the unique needs of our personnel; initiative 17, remove barriers to care, including creating an environment free from stigma; initiative 26, allocate some of the growth in Medical Service Branch resources to transition; initiative 27, create a CAF Transition Group; and initiative 28, ensure that all benefits are in place before a member transitions to post-military life.

Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Framework (2010) and A Well-Being Construct for Veterans’ Policy, Programming and Research (2016) | These two evidence-based, comprehensive documents, as well as VAC’s ongoing evidence review, are foundational to our understanding of suicide and suicide prevention, and to the determinants of well-being that inform our strategy, including the Lines of Effort and our Action Plans.

The CAF-VAC Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy is fully aligned with existing federal strategies and efforts, and leverages the strong work done to date within CAF and VAC, respectively, to mitigate risks and prevent suicide.

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