Ad­dress­ing sui­cide among our veter­ans

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - DON WAL­LACE

As has been re­cently re­ported in the me­dia, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has just re­leased its CAF/VAC Joint Sui­cide Preven­tion Strat­egy. The fore­word to that doc­u­ment, by the Min­is­ter of Veter­ans Af­fairs, Sea­mus O’Re­gan, and the Min­is­ter of National De­fence, Har­jit Sa­j­jan, reads:

“Cana­di­ans have been jus­ti­fi­ably proud of our armed forces and veter­ans for the past 150 years. For gen­er­a­tions our mil­i­tary per­son­nel have valiantly de­fended Canada’s val­ues and in­ter­ests, worked to build peace around the world, and ren­dered as­sis­tance to those in need. When­ever and wher­ever they are needed, our sailors, sol­diers, air­women, and air­men are there to serve.

“This ser­vice does not come with­out sac­ri­fice. Our mil­i­tary per­son­nel en­dure hard­ships and chal­lenges that, thank­fully, most Cana­di­ans do not. Ser­vice in the Cana­dian Armed Forces (CAF) is en­rich­ing and re­ward­ing, but it can also be dif­fi­cult and try­ing, and that is why Canada as­sumes a life­long duty of care to ev­ery sin­gle mil­i­tary mem­ber. Our coun­try is com­mit­ted to the well-be­ing of all serv­ing mil­i­tary mem­bers, veter­ans, and their fam­i­lies.

“Do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to pre­vent sui­cide is a ma­jor pub­lic health pri­or­ity and is also a cor­ner­stone of our com­mit­ment to the well-be­ing of mil­i­tary mem­bers and veter­ans. When an ac­tive mem­ber or veteran is lost to sui­cide, it is an es­pe­cially painful tragedy that re­ver­ber­ates through­out the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity, and we ask: What could we have done to pre­vent this? How can we pre­vent such loss in the fu­ture?

“The re­al­ity is that sui­cide is a deeply com­plex, mul­ti­di­men­sional phe­nom­e­non, with no sin­gle cause, and no sim­ple so­lu­tion. But as lead­ers we col­lec­tively be­lieve that even one sui­cide within our com­mu­nity is too many. As a re­sult, we and our re­spec­tive ministries – National De­fence and Veter­ans Af­fairs Canada (VAC) – have de­vel­oped this Joint Sui­cide Preven­tion Strat­egy. The strat­egy de­fines the con­text for ac­tion, de­scribes the goals upon which ac­tions are fo­cused, and shows the many pro­grams, projects, and ini­tia­tives now un­der­way to help re­duce risks, build re­silience in our CAF and veteran com­mu­ni­ties, and pre­vent sui­cide among our mil­i­tary mem­bers and veter­ans.

“Sui­cide preven­tion has been a fo­cus of CAF and VAC for decades. This strat­egy rep­re­sents the mat­u­ra­tion of our many col­lec­tive ef­forts, as well as an ac­knowl­edg­ment that co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the Cana­dian Armed Forces and Veter­ans Af­fairs Canada is crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing that mil­i­tary per­son­nel nav­i­gate the some­times stress­ful tran­si­tion into post-mil­i­tary life, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the many ser­vices and re­sources avail­able to them.

“Most im­por­tantly, this Joint CAF-VAC Sui­cide Preven­tion Strat­egy es­tab­lishes a firm and on­go­ing com­mit­ment to sui­cide preven­tion. It will en­sure that we col­lec­tively work to do ev­ery­thing we can to sup­port and pro­tect the peo­ple who have sup­ported and pro­tected Canada.”

We wish them well in this en­deav­our.

Dart leagues are start­ing up and the Re­tired Men’s League had its opening day on Thursday last. Play be­gins at 12:30 so come on down and have a great af­ter­noon of fun and fel­low­ship.

Marg’s Cards re­turned on Tues­day, Oct. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and Jack’s Darts re­turns at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. There will be an open euchre party on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. hosted by Cathy Bar­clay and on Oct. 28 our an­nual Hal­lowe’en Bash fea­tur­ing The Shad­owz be­gins at 7 p.m. There will be prizes for the best cos­tumes, so come on down.

Sup­port our troops, wear red on Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.