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Mental health : military families and first responders in distress


Aurélia Morvan

August 28, 2019 09:30

Photo : Nik Shuliahin (Unsplash)

The post-traumatic stress (PTS) suffered by the rescue teams and the canadian military is reflected on their loved ones, leaving them in a “distress frequent” because of ” insufficient support “. This is made clear in the white paper, entitled Supporting families of active and retired members of the canadian armed Forces and first responders affected by post-traumatic stress, that Medavie Blue Cross has just been published.

The insurer has realized this first preliminary report following a roundtable discussion organized in partnership with the mental health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the organization Wounded Warriors Canada and theVanier Institute of the family. The document of twenty pages presents the major findings and strategic priorities that emerged from the discussion.

The family, a bumper under pressure

“Some of the people I interviewed, many have said to me : “I have to take a deep breath when I turn the key in the lock on returning home. As soon as I open the door, I know what awaits me, just by the way he or she answers me.” I’ve heard this kind of testimony not only of the mouth of spouses, but also among adult children, brothers and sisters and parents of individuals with SPT, ” reported Heidi Cramm, scientific associate at thecanadian Institute for research on the health of the military and veterans (ICRSMV), in the framework of the round table.

Up to 32 % of Canadians as part of a group at high risk, such as military, police, and paramedics, will be diagnosed in the state of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) during their lifetime, indicates Medavie. To evacuate, most of them turn in the first place to their relatives, whether it’s a spouse, a spouse or a member of their family. Because of this “very important role” to support, these relatives undergo ” enormous pressure and are also in need of support.”

Capitalize on technology

From this discussion emerged from the support measures put in place to help the families of first responders and active and retired members of the canadian armed Forces living with the SPT. The experts recommend including leveraging technology to provide access to programs for the prevention and treatment existing.

“Technology, such as artificial intelligence, offer promising paths to improve access to care. The idea is not to eliminate the personal relationship with the therapist, but to enable psychologists and other health professionals to treat remote patients living in remote areas and increase the number of patients treated. Technology can also play a role in the training of other coaches or service providers, in order to increase the number of stakeholders able to provide care. “

A planned follow-up by Medavie 2020

“As the post-traumatic stress is part of the fundamental causes of our Foundation, we have found that there is a significant unmet need in terms of support for families. It was important for Medavie contribute to find a solution. (…) This report describes the avenues to explore to get things moving, and it is only the first step in what we hope will be an ongoing process, ” said Bernard Lord, ceo of Medavie.

The insurer will organize a second round table to follow up and continue the discussion around this issue of health and society. This meeting should take place in the year 2020.

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