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It is estimated that up to 30% of returning service personnel are traumatized following active combat in Afghanistan or other campaigns. According to the latest statistics from the DND, our armed forces have lost more personnel to suicide than were killed in combat in Afghanistan. That is tragic and shameful situation
Veterans ombudsman, Guy Parent strongly urged the government to take immediate action: “There are real veterans out there, with real needs that need action now. Every day we wait to fix these problems is another day they have to suffer needlessly.”
In his scathing review of the New Veterans Charter, Parent reports serious flaws:
insufficient financial support; insufficient vocational rehabilitation and assistance; insufficient family support; and insufficient counseling and education for veterans with mental health problems. If more veterans have committed suicide than were killed in combat, clearly mental health funding must go to the top of the list.
In the civilian community, the number of veteran first responders suffering PTSD/OSI has not been well documented either.
These first responders include personnel from the RCMP, as well as members of various community municipal fire, police and emergency medical services in the Atlantic region.
In the first six months of 2014 no less than 7 military members and 23 first responders have committed suicide as a result of PTSD related injuries.
These people need our help now.
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