MATHYSSEN CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO PRIORITIZE VETERANS’ MENTAL HEALTH

OTTAWA – New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) tabled motion M-61 today calling on the federal government to support the mental health of military service men and women, veterans, first responders, and retired and volunteer first responders.
 
“Recent veterans have a higher prevalence of mental health problems than ever before. The increase in mental health problems among these veterans significantly surpasses the general Canadian population, earlier-era veterans, and the serving population,” said Mathyssen. “It is part of the government’s mandate to give back to these men and women who have willingly risked their lives for the well-being for our country. We are not currently doing enough to pay our debt to them.”
 
Mathyssen’s motion would mandate the federal government to increase mental health education and access to services for those who have willingly sacrificed their well-being for our country. The text of motion M-61 follows below.
 
“Every day, military personnel and first responders face traumatic stressors that greatly increase their susceptibility to operational stress injuries such as PTSD,” said Mathyssen. “We need to remember that these heroes are human too, and we need to give them the care that they deserve.”
 
Ms. Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the commitment and sacrifices made by men and women in the military, veterans and those who work as first responders; (b) recognize that those working in the military, as first responders, and veterans are subject to difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstances that may predispose them to Occupational Stress Injuries (OSI) such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); (c) recognize that the mental health of military service men and women, veterans, first responders and retired and volunteer first responders should be made a priority; and (d) commit to supporting the mental health of military, first responders, veterans, retired and volunteer first responders, and their families who are living with an OSI or mental health illness by (i) improving education and support for families and care givers about mental health, OSI and PTSD, (ii) increasing mental health services across the country aimed at military, veterans, first responders, and retired and volunteer first responders, (iii) increasing access to service animals for military, veterans, first responders, and retired and volunteer first responders living with an OSI or mental health illness related to their service.