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ACVA Committee Report

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Recommendation 1

That Veterans Affairs Canada take steps to systematically register all releasing Canadian Armed Forces members for a My VAC Account, whether they are being medically released or not, so that it is easier to establish contact between them and the department should the need arise.

Recommendation 2

That the Canadian Armed Forces, in collaboration with its public and private partners, examine how to better recognize the contribution of releasing members through a public event in which the members could participate voluntarily.

Recommendation 3

That the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada harmonize their transition programs and services, and launch an initiative to:

  • ensure that releasing members and veterans have access to dedicated career transition services;
  • examine and look to improve access for releasing members and veterans to priority hiring in the public service.

Recommendation 4

That Veterans Affairs Canada reach out to members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Somalia, Rwanda, or other deployments in that time period, to ensure each is receiving the mental and physical health services and support, as well as Veterans Affairs Canada’s benefits and programs to which they are entitled for their service.

Recommendation 5

That Veterans Affairs Canada cooperate with any institution concerned in any research program that would study the effects of mefloquine.

Recommendation 6

That the Canadian Armed Forces further integrate family members into their mental health and suicide prevention programs.

Recommendation 7

That a veteran’s family members have the opportunity to become Veterans Affairs Canada clients as soon as the veteran enrols in a Veterans Affairs Canada rehabilitation program.

Recommendation 8

That Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence examine and make available programs, including peer support, for those veterans that have an operational stress injury related to military sexual trauma.

Recommendation 9

That the Department of National Defence better recognize the contribution of chaplains to the mental health of military personnel, and ensure the chaplains receive the mental health support they require.

Recommendation 10

That the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada ensure that all medically releasing members diagnosed with a mental health condition have their mental health care in place as close as possible to where they will reside, at an Operational Stress Injury clinic or with other mental health care providers, before they are released from their military service.

Recommendation 11

That Veterans Affairs Canada, in partnership with the provincial and territorial authorities concerned, launch an awareness campaign directed at front-line workers and healthcare professionals to help them identify veterans experiencing mental health problems, establish a system to follow up on the progress of such veterans, and refer them to Veterans Affairs Canada services.

Recommendation 12

That Veterans Affairs Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners, continue to find ways to improve access to mental health care for veterans through technological innovations or other means, including but not limited to the possibility of expanding the network of Operational Stress Injury satellite clinics, and investigating, in partnership with provinces and territories, incentives for professionals to work in rural, remote, and/or underserviced areas.

Recommendation 13

That Veterans Affairs Canada and Health Canada work together to make the Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service available through online chatting, and accessible through multiple platforms.

Recommendation 14

That Veterans Affairs Canada approach all its partners in mental health to establish a mutual cooperation strategy in order to better assist veterans in crisis situations.

Recommendation 15

That Veterans Affairs Canada expand the Veteran Family Program, in cooperation with the Canadian Armed Forces and the Military Family Resource Centres.

Recommendation 16

That Veterans Affairs Canada work with provinces, territories, and related service providers to ensure that veterans with an operational stress injury have all options available for treatment, while ensuring that the provincial and territorial jurisdiction for healthcare is recognized and respected.

Recommendation 17

That Veterans Affairs Canada incorporate international research on service standards and efficacy studies on dog therapy.

Recommendation 18

That Veterans Affairs Canada conduct an evaluation of the response process and support services available to victims of military sexual trauma, and make available any training necessary in military sexual trauma.

Recommendation 19

That the Government of Canada weigh the merits of continuing to exclude members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from the workers’ compensation plans provided under the Government Employees Compensation Act.