Minister O’Regan and Minister Sajjan mark Mental Illness Awareness Week

Statement

OttawaThe Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

“This week we mark Mental Illness Awareness Week and the first anniversary of the Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy.  This important week raises awareness of mental health issues and decreases stigmatization surrounding mental illness.

“We recognize the sacrifices Veterans and military personnel make in the service of our country. That is why our government committed to ensuring Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans receive the highest standard of health care and support.

“Over the past year, both the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) have taken significant steps to improve mental health support for our CAF members, our Veterans and their families. The Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy seeks to help our military members, Veterans and their families reduce the risk of suicide and provide them with support where and when they need it.

“While much work has been done in the area of mental health awareness, we must continue encouraging Canadian Armed Forces Members and Veterans to seek help when they need it.

"We would like to thank the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association, for everything they do to eliminate the stigma and help educate Canadians about the reality of mental illness.

“Our message to Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, and their families is simple: you are not alone. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, please reach out.  Free, confidential counselling is available to you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 1-800-268-7708. We encourage all Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, and Canadians to stand together in support of mental illness awareness. Together, we can end the stigma.”

Contacts

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
vac.media-medias.acc@canada.ca


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Alex.Wellstead@canada.ca


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613 996-3100
Email: byrne.furlong@forces.gc.ca


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