Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 618
View Gary Schellenberger Profile
CPC (ON)
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the 41st meeting of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs and, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), a study of combat stress and its consequences on the mental health of veterans and their families.
Our witness today, from 3:30 to 4:30 via video conference from Vancouver, British Columbia, as an individual, is Marvin J. Westwood, founder of the Veterans Transition Program.
Welcome, Mr. Westwood.
I am Gary Schellenberger, the chair of the standing committee.
If you would like to, please make your address, and then hopefully we can keep our questions short and to the point. We look forward to a very informative hour, sir.
View Gary Schellenberger Profile
CPC (ON)
We are doing a study on suicide and mental problems within the military, particularly in our military veterans; a lot of it is that our veterans are coming back from Afghanistan and various other deployments with PTSD. So this, we feel...again, in the transition from the forces to veterans, is there a gap there? How can we handle that? Can we affect the mental condition of our veterans better by a better transition from the military life, which they're probably used to, to civilian life?
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Professor Westwood, it's real pleasure to listen to you this morning--sorry, I mean this afternoon. It has been a long day already.
Many of the things you say are similar to the things we have heard from some of the soldiers themselves. You've talked about the World War II vets and the fact that it's 50 years too late. Often as we're doing this work, we think of all of what we're trying to do for the veterans today, and we think back to what was being done for those folks 50 years ago. Clearly, very little was being done in those days. I think that now we're trying to avoid as many of those past mistakes as possible and to look forward to how we can help many of these young vets who are coming home now.
You talked about the invisible injuries and the men's and women's unwillingness to address them. You were saying that they will do everything they can to avoid that. Clearly, you can't force people to get assistance, so isn't it a case of recognizing psychological problems early on in order to get them into the right veterans transition program--we can call it whatever we want to call it--and to get them into a mindset in which they recognize that as a result of what they have seen and experienced, they are clearly going to have some sort of trauma, whether it's today or tomorrow? Then we could head things off rather than have somebody commit suicide and then realize that overall as a community we failed that individual by not recognizing it earlier.
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would agree with you. It sounded a little like an AA program. They're more apt to listen to somebody who has been through something than to listen to some professional. Are programs like your Veterans Transition Program available and operating in other countries?
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Is most of the funding that you have received from the Royal Canadian Legion? Am I accurate in that statement?
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Well, part of the study we're doing today is to look at how we can improve those services.
What is the age range of the men and women that you have had an opportunity to work with? What are the ages?
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Of course it's not.
Have you been able to figure out how to assess a success rate with many of the men and women you've worked with?
View Guy André Profile
BQ (QC)
I am glad we have the chance to discuss your PTSD transition program. You talked about services becoming more decentralized so that veterans can have access to self-help groups. People who go through similar situations can share these traumatic events and help each other. This helps them with their therapy and the healing process.
But I have been noticing a common problem in Quebec. I guess it also applies to the rest of Canada. Veterans who live in remote rural areas have a hard time getting to PTSD support services in cities, because the distances are often quite considerable.
I am going to talk about Quebec, but I am sure the situation is similar in the rest of Canada. Could we develop local services in the various areas of Quebec, in CLSCs? Could we train professionals to provide these services to veterans? What do you think about that? I think the system is highly centralized and it is not accessible to the entire target population.
View Guy André Profile
BQ (QC)
I do think the idea should be developed. This is about the link between the public sector and veterans. I think there are things we can work on.
I would also like to hear what you have to say on the issue of screening. We see that many veterans develop PTSD after a military mission, two, three, four or ten years after the traumatic event. Sometimes, they realize relatively late that they have been living with PTSD.
Through your research, have you developed tools to help you be more successful in screening people who could later develop PTSD? There does not seem to be any follow-up as such. It seems that people leave the army, go home, and, only later, it is usually their families that notice a change in behaviour.
View Guy André Profile
BQ (QC)
In my opinion, when we are working with people struggling with PTSD, it is important to build on information from the families. There seems to be a lack of information from families living with soldiers who are likely to develop PTSD.
Don't you think we should put more emphasis on information from the spouses and families of those soldiers? I think they are in a better position to identify the symptoms.
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
Dr. Westwood, thank you very much for appearing today, and thank you for the work that you're doing.
My first question for you, sir, is this. You said that 20 years ago the federal government assisted you financially in a project you had done with war veterans--of World War II, I suspect. Have you or your organization in the last five or 10 years made a formal application for funding to the federal government--to the military, to Health Canada, or to Veterans Affairs--to assist you in your project? If you have, what was the response? If you haven't, why not?
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
Well, Dr. Westwood, I would just make a slight recommendation to you that you consider making an application to DVA just to see what their response would be in 2011. I can't answer for the government or the minister, but hopefully you might get a different response. one that would assist you in what you do.
Here in our papers it says that since 1997 approximately 200 soldiers and veterans have come looking to you for assistance. Yet we know there are thousands more out there who need help, there's no question about it, and for a variety of reasons they're not getting that help. So my other question for you is this: do you assist any RCMP veterans at all?
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
Do you assist anyone else, such as municipal police, firefighters, or anyone of that nature at all outside of the federal responsibility of veterans and RCMP?
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
In your discussions with the soldiers, veterans, and RCMP members, do you invite or do you ask to invite certain family members to come in with the individual at the time?
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
Sir, my last question for you is on the comparison between regular force individuals who you assist and those who are reservists. I was wondering if you could break that down for us. In your work that you've been doing for the last 14 years in this regard, is it difficult for reservists to come forward or is it difficult to try to find them in order for them to seek out the assistance they may require?
Because along with that, here's what my question is leading to. Obviously when these soldiers are integrated into civilian society, they're working in other jobs and they feel like productive citizens. Do you work at all with any prospective employers out there who hire these soldiers and veterans to let them know certain things to watch out for in the event that their symptoms resurface in their new place of employment, in order to assist the new employer in what they may or may not encounter in the future?
Results: 1 - 15 of 618 | Page: 1 of 42

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data