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Results: 1 - 15 of 101
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you very much.
You had a good line of questioning from my honourable colleagues. One of the things that I thought was interesting, which the previous speaker talked about, was lifelong care for the veterans and how that's what we're trying to achieve. We're trying to get to that point.
Mr. Westwood, this has been a very interesting topic this afternoon. You're bringing up the idea of this lifelong care and the fact that we have to do some trauma repair. I want to tell you about a case from St. John's, Newfoundland that I was dealing with. His name was Joe Hawco. He was a peacekeeper and, during his tour of duty, he had a number of peacekeepers die in his arms. He was in a fight and, unfortunately, there was loss of life.
The man went through his life. He had some issues, but he did make it through his life. When he turned about 70, the family started to notice a change. It was noticed that he was having more dementia, if I can say that, and eventually they thought it was Alzheimer's. So because modern-day veterans do not have access to pavilions, he ended up in a mental hospital in St. John's. He couldn't be held in an Alzheimer's unit because he regressed to when he was in the military serving as a peacekeeper, and he could actually pick the locks of the Alzheimer's unit.
I have two questions here. First of all, could you could talk about some of this trauma? When you've been tracking the success over the 14 years, are you finding that those later in life are not having as many challenges? Would it have any effect on the possible later onset of dementia? Two, could you answer that question of whether you're seeing any relationship?
The second question is about the veterans pavilions. Right now, we're housing modern-day veterans who are now growing older. As I said, Mr. Hawco was in his seventies when he passed. He died in the mental hospital, actually. I wonder if you could address where you think the best care is. Do you think there is some other mechanism or means to treat people in later stages of life who don't have access to the veterans pavilions? I'm concerned about that, because they are regressing to when they were soldiers.
I'll leave you with those two questions, if you could answer them, please.
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Well, thank you for that, because I think you're absolutely right. What ended up happening with this particular soldier.... As I said, it was very traumatizing for him and very traumatizing for his family. He was in a place where he could not relate to those around him. When soldiers would go to visit him, he could absolutely relate.
So I would suggest that even those who have passed the 65-year mark, let's say, still may need to have that trauma addressed.
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Now, on one of the things you talked about, is it possible to roll out a program like yours across the country?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Westwood, for your presentation, and thank you for the dedication you have to our men and women in the Canadian Forces, our veterans, and our police officers that you help out.
You hit a whole bunch of things that I think were very good. One thing I would like to follow up on is the culture our military has. Have you noticed a change? Obviously, Veterans Affairs and DND have tried to change to address this culture a little and make mental health awareness something that's more top of mind and more accessible. Have you noticed a change in the culture?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
I represent a rural riding with a couple of military bases in it. One of the concerns in my area is access to treatment. Sometimes your treatment meetings can be 15 to 20 minutes long, but it's a three-hour drive to a place to access them. Is this a concern you share as well?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
I have just one more quick question for you. There has been a tremendous number of changes to programs. The government is trying to address some of the issues we've been talking about. In your mind, how knowledgeable are the soldiers you're talking to about the changes that have been made to programs or about additional programs that are available?
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you very much.
I certainly appreciate you being here today. I have a great deal of respect for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. I hope you continue to do great work.
I have a couple of questions.
I was in biotechnology. I had a company that looked at how genes affect human health and disease; that's why I'm so familiar with CIHR. Here's one of my questions, though. You talked earlier about a lot of the research that you were doing. I'm wondering how that research is being translated? Do you know of programs that have been developed and where we are in the cycle of the research?
Because it's great to do the research, and I applaud you for it and I think it's important, but how is that being translated to help today?
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you for that. I couldn't support you more in those initiatives.
Having said that, I note that with veterans we are in a cycle right now where we have a tremendous number of veterans returning from the theatre of war who are suffering, a lot of them, from PTSD. We know that. We have peacekeepers who are suffering from PTSD. Their symptoms are still fresh even though they may have been returned from duty 10 years ago; they still have these issues.
So I think that with veterans, because they are the responsibility of the federal government...I know they utilize the provincial health care system, but the federal government still has the responsibility. I believe my honourable colleague across the way said earlier that we have to ensure that really we have a lifelong care of veterans.
So I guess we have an opportunity now, utilizing some of the research that you've done, of actually applying that for veterans and probably getting out of the inter-jurisdictional quagmire that we have between the province and the federal government. I would encourage you—and I know that you do work with Veterans Affairs Canada—to cross that chasm.
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
I would suggest that this committee could recommend that, because we really need to apply that research that you've done, that good research, and get results today. It can't be a 10-year negotiation—
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
Now, many veterans who have, say, PTSD and don't realize it for 10, 15, 20 years afterwards, which is becoming commonplace as there's more work done on PTSD and more people realize what it is and the stigma is taken off it, they're forced to deal with the insurance companies, are they not?
And the reason I ask this is that, before they can get a lot of their benefits, oftentimes they have to go to Sun Life, from my experience, and the decision is often made by Sun Life as to whether or not they have PTSD. In my experience, it's irrelevant whether or not they have a doctor's diagnosis that they have PTSD, the diagnosis of a qualified medical physician such as you were talking about before.
If I could just maybe have you look into that, or if we could talk about that after, that's something I would like to see done. We can't get through it all in a five-minute question and answer, but it's something I wanted to bring up.
We were talking about the 1,400 and the 432 decisions on PTSD last year. What are the timelines we're talking about here from when a veteran files to have the first review done—the 68% that are in favour? What are the timelines between point A and getting the decision on his initial review?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
Less than six months? So four months, five months?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
So the decision is rendered within six weeks.
If that decision, if it's of that 32% that are still denied, goes to the appeal process, how long does that process take?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
Okay. So we're talking nine or ten months here before many of these veterans work their way through the system?
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
It seems to be quite a process to undergo simply to get greater entitlements, as you were talking about earlier. How many of these are for greater entitlements, and what would be the average amount of an increased entitlement?
You may not have all that information. It's kind of detailed.
View Brian Storseth Profile
CPC (AB)
I don't mean to cut you off there, but it seems like a fairly frustrating process to go through simply to get an extra $200 or $100 a month for some of these guys. I'm wondering how many veterans don't even bother trying to go through the process because it takes 10 months to a year to get things done. It's frustrating to see that paperwork is the reason why they don't get the proper amount in the first place.
There's one last point I wanted to talk about.
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