Improved mental health support services for
military families

Submitted

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018


OTTAWA - Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, announced June 4 that improved access to mental health services for military families are now in place, as part of the Defence Policy’s Strong, Secure, Engaged recommendation.

“Ensuring the needs of military members are appropriately met is a priority for this government,” she said. “Today, I am proud to announce that we have improved access to mental health services for military families through social workers and referrals to community programs and services.”

A dedicated social worker posted in Europe is now available to help ease some of the associated challenges for military families overseas who may be struggling. Additional resources have also been dedicated for the development of virtual psychoeducational resources, which military family members can readily access online.

Another new service introduced as part of this initiative includes a virtual counselling service. Offered through the 24/7 Family Information Line, confidential sessions via telephone or video can now be booked, providing a convenient and responsive service for military families.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that military families make an incredible contribution to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan. “Military families are the heart and soul of everything we do and we are committed to providing them with the support and services they require to manage the unique challenges and stresses of military life. The needs of Canadian Armed Forces members and their families will evolve throughout their careers and so too must the services and support.”

Military Family Services is the primary funder of the thirty-two (32) Military Family Resource Centres, which are located on bases/wings and units located across Canada, with additional service points in the United States and Europe. They are responsible for connecting with families and delivering the programs and services of the Military Family Services Program in their local communities.

Military Family Resource Centres are mandated to deliver the Military Family Services Program and are in place to help families of Canadian Armed Forces members manage the uniqueness of Canadian military life. Through various programs and services, including counseling and support groups. Military Family Resource Centres also provide information and referral services to local civilian resources.

“Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services is a key enabler of the Canada’s Defence Policy,” said Commodore Sean Cantelon, Director General Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services. “Improving access to mental health services for families in a flexible and responsive way honours the important contributions families make to our country”

Confidential sessions via telephone or video can now be booked by calling the 24/7 Family Information Line: 1-800-866-4546 or by emailing: fil@cafconnection.ca.