Budget 2017 - Fact Sheet - Centre of Excellence on PTSD and related Mental Health conditions
Implementation of all Budget 2017 initiatives is expected on April 1, 2018.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) plans to create a new Centre of Excellence in Veterans’ care, specializing in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues for Veterans.
This is part of the Minister’s mandate and he is committed to adding resources and expertise to ensure comprehensive services and supports are available to Veterans and their families.
The Centre of Excellence will be responsible for advances in applied research, knowledge transfer and the development of tools to support treatment by health care providers from coast to coast to coast. The Centre will have a strong focus on the creation and dissemination of knowledge and awareness that addresses evidence-based mental health injury prevention, such as PTSD, as well as assessment and treatment needs of Veterans and CAF members.
It is but one element of a joint mental health strategy between Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces, which also includes forums to share best practices in assessment and treatment, collaborative research and continuing education opportunities for health care professionals. The centre will allow for the collection and distribution of best practices throughout Canada to benefit Veterans receiving mental health support from coast to coast to coast.
Significant consultations with stakeholders and Veterans over the past year will support the development of the Centre of Excellence, which will include comprehensive research capabilities to ensure the Centre will be:
- Focused on recovery and prevention;
- Culturally relevant and sensitive to all Veterans;
- Veteran and family-centric; and
Education, counselling and training will be integral to the Centre of Excellence and will support public awareness and de-stigmatization of mental health illness. It will ensure Canada’s military—whether they are still in uniform or already released—have access to mental health care that is comprehensive, integrated and consistent no matter where they live.
Over four years, $17.5 million will be dedicated creating a Centre of Excellence on PTSD and related Mental Health conditions to increase knowledge of CAF members and Veterans’ mental health issues.
Over the last 5 years, VAC has committed more than $3 million in research projects designed to better understand and meet the needs of Canada’s Veterans and their families. This includes the Life After Service Studies (LASS), studies on Mental Health, Psychiatric Service Dogs, Veteran Families, Equine Therapy, Identity and Recognition, Suicide, Employment, and Homelessness.
Of all Veterans who received a benefit from Veterans Affairs Canada, 17% received a disability benefit for a mental health condition.
Seventy-three (73%) of Veterans, who received a benefit from Veterans Affairs Canada for a mental health condition, received it specifically for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Thirteen percent (13%) of members who deployed to Afghanistan have received a Veterans Affairs Canada pension or award for a mental health condition.
The new changes would come into effect April 1, 2018.
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