Five Greater Vancouver organizations receive support from Veterans Affairs Canada
Minister Petitpas Taylor visits five Vancouver Veteran and Family Well-being Fund recipients
10 August 2023 – Vancouver – Veterans Affairs Canada
Five organizations in the greater Vancouver area will receive a combined $1.45 million in support from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to support mental health and wellness projects for Veterans and their families.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence and Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre, announced the funding today through VAC’s Veteran and Family Well-being Fund (VFWF). This is part of VAC’s commitment, outlined in the Minister’s Mandate Letter, to ensure that Veterans and their families have access to adequate mental health resources, services and training programs tailored to their specific needs.
These five important initiatives are:
Moving Forward Family Services will receive $200,000 for their Veteran Wellness and Community Support Program. This project will offer counselling for Veterans with mental health problems, isolation, and everyday challenges integrating back to life after service, using a model of over 200 supervised interns to support those otherwise unable to afford or qualify for counselling.
Legion Veterans Village will receive $500,000 towards a personalized therapeutic program for Veterans at their integrated centre of excellence. This project will use multi-disciplinary services to accelerate effects of multi-modal therapeutics on symptoms of brain fog and long COVID.
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia will receive $60,000 for their Crisis Care Continuum for Veterans project, which will provide suicide prevention training to community members and organizations that work with Veterans. Veterans will also have access to 24/7 crisis services and community education.
The Veterans Transition Network will receive $200,000 for a project that will train Veterans to provide high-level peer support and para-professional counselling to support mental health, social integration and self-care for other Veterans.
Wounded Warriors Canada will receive $500,000 for their Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday (COPE) project, which will provide Veterans suffering from PTSD with five-day counselling, psycho-education, structured reflection, life review method, group discussion facilitated by two clinicians (life experience peer couple), and six months of life coaching.
The VFWF was launched by VAC in 2018. It provides grants and contributions to conduct research and implement initiatives and projects that support the well-being of Veterans and their families. Between 2018 and 2023, the VFWF has awarded $42.6M in funding to 77 organizations, for 123 initiatives.
“Caring for our mental health is crucial, and I am pleased to support the impactful projects these devoted groups are undertaking here in British Columbia through the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund. Veterans and first responders have unique needs and that means we need to work together in providing care, treating PTSD, mental health problems and other medical needs.”
Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“I’m happy to see this partnership between these organizations and the Government of Canada in support of Veterans in British Columbia. Projects like these help us help Veterans who have done so much for Canadians.”
Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre
“With this multi-year funding from Veterans Affairs Canada, Moving Forward will support Veterans and their families with individual and group counselling, peer support, and support in connecting to health, employment, financial aid, and other resources. We will also connect and collaborate with community partners to ensure an integrated system of support for our Veterans and their families.”
Gary Thandi, Executive Director, Moving Forward Family Services
“This federal funding comes at a crucial time as the Centre for Clinical Excellence at Legion Veterans Village opens its clinical services to provide crucial healthcare, rehabilitation and wellness services for Veterans and first responders. We are so grateful to Veterans Affairs Canada for its investment towards this innovative Personalized Therapeutics Program at LVV to help many veterans and their families who suffer from Long COVID conditions, such as brain fog, fatigue, cognitive and long term challenges.”
Rowena Rizzotti, Board Chair of the Legion Veterans Village Research Foundation
“The Crisis Centre of BC is grateful for the support from the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, enabling us to provide suicide awareness, intervention and prevention training for Canadian Veterans and those working with them in our communities. Thanks to the project grant, we will offer free training in skillfully responding to distress and suicide prevention to Veterans, staff, and volunteers. Collaborating with Legion branches across British Columbia, we aim to serve diverse Veteran populations better.”
Stacy Ashton, Executive Director, Crisis Centre of BC
“The Veterans Transition Network is grateful for this funding to help us develop our National Peer Support Team across Canada. This team of program graduates receives specialized peer support training to support other Veterans in future group programs. They each provide a powerful social license for other struggling Veterans to open up, talk it out, and manage trauma. Every day, we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to work with these amazing Veterans who exemplify honour, service, and compassion.”
Oliver Thorne, Chief Executive Officer, Veterans Transition Network
“The Veteran Family Well-being Fund continues to serve as a force multiplier for service providers like ourselves, who are working hard to develop new and innovative ways to support ill and injured Veterans and their families. We are grateful for the contribution to our Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday (COPE) program and look forward to supporting even more Veteran families thanks to this new funding capability.”
Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada.
On 24 May 2023, the Government of Canada announced that 21 projects have been approved for funding from the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund, totalling $6M over three years.
These projects help Veterans in a wide variety of ways, including addressing homelessness, retraining, employment, mental health, and research, along with supporting women, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQI+ Veterans, and their families.
Moving Forward Family Services is an innovative non-profit agency that provides counselling to anyone who needs it in Canada. The organization offers free short-term and affordable long-term counselling options to underserved communities via in-person, telephone, and online platforms.
Legion Veterans Village is Canada’s first-of-its-kind, integrated centre of excellence for Veterans and first responders focusing on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental health as well as mixed medical and rehabilitative services and affordable and market rate housing.
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia is dedicated to providing help and hope to individuals, organizations, and communities. Spanning the spectrum of crisis support, suicide prevention, and postvention, the organization engages staff and volunteers in a variety of services and programs that educate, train, and support the strength and capacity of individuals and communities.
The Veterans Transition Network believes that soldiers are best served by other soldiers. To date, the organization has helped over 1,500 Veterans in nine provinces, and continues to grow. In addition to its original program, they have provided services to RCMP officers, Veterans, and bilingual French/English speakers.
Wounded Warriors Canada is a national mental health service provider that helps Canada’s Veterans, first responders and their families feel safe, supported and understood.
Veterans Affairs Canada
Erika Lashbrook Knutson
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
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