Veterans Affairs Canada announces funding for research study at Dalhousie University’s Dallaire Institute
The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund will provide over $1 million to study mental health effects of exposure to child soldiers
6 July 2021 – Halifax – Veterans Affairs Canada
Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence announced support for Dalhousie University’s Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security from the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.
The Dallaire Institute has received $1,060,000 to conduct a five-year national research study, examining the mental health effects of exposure to child soldiers during military service. The research findings will be used to develop supports for military personnel, Veterans and their families who are dealing with the impact of those experiences.
The Government of Canada’s Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund provides grants and contributions to private, public, or academic organizations to support research, initiatives and projects that enhance the well-being of Veterans and their families.
““As well-trained as our Canadian Armed Forces are, there’s nothing that can properly prepare someone for the awful reality of witnessing a child soldier. This study will be the very first of its kind, and it’s going to help us improve how we care for those who’ve served our country in the most difficult of environments. I’m proud that we can support this type of absolutely vital work through the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, and I’m grateful to the Dallaire Institute for taking it on.”
Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“With this extraordinary support from Veterans Affairs Canada, the Dallaire Institute will be able to conduct first-of-its-kind research and advocacy to better understand and potentially treat and even prevent moral injury as it relates to our own Canadian Armed Forces. Mental health partners CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and the MacDonald Franklin OSI Centre will join this incredible multi-disciplinary partnership.”
Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security
“Our moral codes are shaped throughout our lives and provide the compass from which we make decisions. The Canadian Armed Forces, like all security personnel, regularly encounter children in circumstances that violate their moral compass: children trained to kill, sexually abused, incarcerated, or deprived of basic necessities. In the face of these moral violations, moral injury can occur. And I know full well that moral injury can be lethal.”
General Romeo Dallaire, Founder of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security
“The Dallaire Institute is one of the world’s leading organizations working to prevent children from being recruited into conflict. This grievous violation of children’s rights has complex and far reaching effects beyond the children themselves. Thank you to Veterans Affairs Canada for their generous investment in critical research that will inform practices to support Veterans and military personnel who have been exposed to child soldiers.”
Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice President Research and Innovation Dalhousie University
The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security was founded in 2007 by LGen Roméo Dallaire (Retd), and is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security-sector-focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery.
The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund supports research projects and innovative initiatives tailored to improving the well-being of Veterans and their families.
Since 2018, the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund has provided more than $25 million to help more than 60 organizations improve the lives of Veterans and their families right across the country in areas like homelessness, mental health, the transition to civilian life, supporting women Veterans, and more.
Budget 2021 provides an additional $15 million over three years, starting this year, to expand and enhance the Fund for projects supporting Veterans during the post COVID-19 recovery, including addressing homelessness, employment, retraining, and health challenges, along with supporting women and LGBTQ2 Veterans. A call out for this new funding will be taking place soon.
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