Finding solutions to support families of serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces and first responders suffering with post-traumatic stress (PTS)
February 11, 2019
PTS Roundtable brings together an impressive expert panel to focus on the family
Families of military and first responders play an essential role in the treatment journey for those living with PTS, but are often forgotten. To identify the challenges families face, the gaps in support, and the priority needs to action on, Medavie hosted a PTS roundtable on February 5, in partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada, Vanier Institute of the Family and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Family members are key to ensuring people living with PTS are well-cared for and they can play a big role in improving outcomes. At the same time, families face immense pressures themselves and they need assistance, too. Discussion and key outcomes of the roundtable included opportunities for:
- Improving awareness and understanding of PTS among families;
- Strengthening treatment programs available; and
- Expanding access to those services.
The roundtable was attended by experts and key stakeholder groups, and included a keynote address from Roméo Dallaire, Retired Lt-General and National Patron for Wounded Warriors Canada, and a panel discussion moderated by Canadian hockey legend, author and former MP, Ken Dryden. A white paper is being developed to share the learnings from the discussion and provide government and stakeholders with actionable recommendations for next steps.
“As a not-for-profit health solutions partner, Medavie is committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadians. Through investments in programs and innovative solutions, we help Canadians live well and enable easier access to quality health care in our communities. We recognize the impact PTS can have on a family and that it’s of significant importance for families of military, veterans and first responders, including our own first responder families and that of our clients. This expert roundtable is allowing us to better understand how we can support them. It also aligns with our Foundation’s belief that all Canadians should have access to the tools and supports they need to live their best lives.” – Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie
Participants taking part in the PTS Roundtable included:
Back row, from left: Dr. Hester Dunlap, Clinical Lead, Trauma and Psychological Injury Program/Concurrent Trauma and Addiction Program, Bellwood Health Services; Dr. Samuel Weiss, Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA); Micheal Pietrus, Director, Mental Health First Aid Canada & Opening Minds, Mental Health Commission of Canada; Roméo Dallaire, National Patron, Wounded Warriors Canada and Retired Lt-General, Canadian Armed Forces; Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie; Dr. Heidi Cramm, Associate Scientist, Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research; Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada; Dr. Raj Bhatla, Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, Royal Ottawa Health Care Group; and Nora Spinks, CEO, Vanier Institute of the Family.
Front row, from left: LCol (ret'd) Dr. Alexandra Heber, Chief Psychiatrist at Veterans Affairs Canada and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa; Dr. Margaret McKinnon, Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma; Associate Chair of Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University; Psychologist, Mood Disorders Program, St. Joseph’s Healthcare; and Senior Scientist, Homewood Research Institute; Ken Dryden; Dr. Rakesh Jetly, Col., Senior Psychiatrist and Mental Health Clinical Advisor to the Surgeon General; First Chair in Military Mental Health at the Canadian Armed Forces; Dr. Nick Carleton, Professor of Psychology at the University of Regina; Scientific Director at Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment; and Dr. Tina Saryeddine, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
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