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Mental Health Week: Continuing the Conversation


As Mental Health Week in Canada comes to an end, we wanted to highlight the importance of this week, and what it means to our community. Mental health support is imperative year-round, and this week acts as a reminder for us all to check in with ourselves and those around us. It’s vital to extend our support to the friends and families of Veterans and service members who also grapple with unique challenges and stressors affecting their mental well-being.

Mental health awareness has come a long way recently, but there’s still a long way to go. Many people still don’t feel comfortable speaking openly about the state of their mental health due to fear of stigma. The importance of destigmatizing mental health struggles cannot be overstated, especially considering that approximately one-fifth of Canadian Veterans will encounter a diagnosed mental health disorder at some point in their lives. Among these disorders, depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders are the most prevalent.

Despite the prevalence of these conditions, stigma often acts as a barrier to seeking help and accessing necessary support. This stigma can stem from misconceptions, fear of judgment, or societal attitudes surrounding mental health. However, by fostering an environment of acceptance, understanding, and support, we can encourage individuals to prioritize their mental well-being and seek the assistance they need without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

Destigmatizing mental health not only benefits Veterans and service members but also promotes a healthier and more inclusive society where everyone feels empowered to address their mental health concerns openly and without shame.

If you or someone you love needs assistance, there are resources available:

For veterans and their families, there are specific resources available through the Employee Assistance Services of Health Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). They offer a 24/7 helpline for psychological and bereavement support and referral services:

● Bilingual Telephone Support: 1-800-268-7708

● Hearing Impaired Line: 1-800-567-5803

● Hope for Wellness Help Line for Indigenous peoples: 1-855-242-3310

Additionally, you can access online chat services for crisis support:

● If there’s a risk of suicide, call or text 9-8-8, available 24/7.

● People of all ages can reach out to Kids Help Phone by texting 686868 (youth) or 741741 (adults) to speak to a trained volunteer crisis responder.

● Young people can also call 1-800-668-6868 to talk to a professional counselor or visit for online chat support.

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