Sexual Misconduct Response Centre Services Now Available 24/7
Support to Canadian Armed Forces members extended to around-the-clock
July 24, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces
OTTAWA – Deputy Minister John Forster is pleased to announce today that the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) has increased the availability of its services to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
This increase in availability allows Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to access supportive counselling both in Canada and abroad at all times. The expansion to 24/7 has been a priority for the SMRC to better meet the needs of CAF members for immediate counselling.
The SMRC was specifically established to support CAF members who have been affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. Civilian employees of the Department of National Defence have access to the Employee Assistance Program, a service that is also available 24/7.
To shift to 24/7 service delivery, the SMRC hired additional counsellors to meet the demands of 24/7 shifts. The Centre now counts eight (8) counsellors who work on stand-by rotation. Initially, one senior counsellor and one counsellor will work the evening-night shifts.
SMRC counsellors are civilians with university degrees in counselling, social work or psychology; they have significant experience in the military and with mental health, trauma or other fields of support. The SMRC also ensures its personnel attends additional comprehensive training upon their arrival at the Centre.
“I am pleased that the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre is now in a position to provide this needed service to Canadian Armed Forces members anywhere in the world and at any time.”
John Forster, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence
“Adopting a 24/7 delivery model has been a priority for the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre as it continues to evolve in the area of victim support. I am pleased to be able to provide around-the-clock services to Canadian Armed Forces members who may require support.”
Dr. Denise Preston, Executive Director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre
On 24 July 2017, the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre launched its new 24/7 service delivery model.
CAF members are now able to contact professional counsellors regarding situations of sexual and inappropriate behaviours by phone or e-mail, and access confidential, supportive counselling at any time of the day or night all year round.
The provision of 24/7 bilingual supportive counselling has been a priority for the SMRC in order to meet the needs of CAF members, whenever they need help and support.
The SMRC, established in September 2015, is the first ever organization for the CAF dedicated to supporting victims of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. It is one of the cornerstones of the response to the External Review Authority Report on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces and of Operation HONOUR.
The SMRC provides confidential supportive counselling by telephone or email to CAF members. Its approach is focused on active listening, identification of options, provision of information on resources, and facilitated access to services provided by the vast network of internal and external resources.
Department of National Defence
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