Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’ around Ontario police officer’s death

Global News
By Dave Woodard and Don Mitchel 
Posted November 28, 2023
His death opened doors for his immediate family who used the episode to speak openly about his demons and reminded first responders they don’t stand alone in the stigma surrounding mental health.
A first responder from Alberta is making his way across Canada on foot. Now in Nova Scotia, he's hoping to encourage others suffering from PTSD to open up about their struggle. Shelley Steeves reports. – Jul 14, 2023
In a five-part series titled First Responders in Crisis, Global News is looking at some of the issues that continue to loom around mental health and first responders. We’ll explore what’s being done to help first responders and what has changed over the decade.

December will mark 10 years since a well-regarded Hamilton Police investigator took his own life inside Central Station, putting a spotlight on first responders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the job.

Family and friends of the late Staff-Sgt. Ian Matthews expressed surprise in the days following the Dec. 17, 2013, episode, including Const. Andrew Leng, who was a neighbour.

“He lived two doors down from me, and I watched his kids grow up with mine,” Leng recalled. “So I knew him as more than just a police officer, I knew him as a neighbour … as a person. When he took his life, yeah, it completely shocked me.”
learn more here

Sunday, August 6, 2023


2 motorcycle convoys are headed for Ottawa. One worries it will be mistaken for the other

CBC News
Avanthika Anand
Posted: Aug 05, 2023
The Rolling Barrage motorcycle rally, pictured in St. John's, N.L. where it kicked off this year's event on Aug 1. (Submitted by Scott Casey)
As two motorcycle convoys descend on Ottawa, the organizer behind one rally worries it may be mistaken for the other.

On and off for the last seven years, the Rolling Barrage cross-country motorcycle ride has come to the National Capital Region to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among military veterans.

This year, the ride's organizer Scott Casey said he's worried another motorcycle convoy might distract from his campaign.

The Rolling Barrage is expected to pull into Ottawa on Wednesday. When it does, Casey is concerned his riders may be mistaken for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle convoy, a group whose origin can be traced back to the self-described "Freedom Convoy" that occupied downtown Ottawa in the winter of 2022.

Rolling Thunder arrived in Ottawa Saturday, just days before Casey and his group.

"I honestly don't know what their mission is," Casey said. "Whatever they have planned... that serves absolutely no purpose to us whatsoever."
Upon returning from that tour, one of Casey's close colleagues died by suicide. That tragedy became the catalyst for starting The Rolling Barrage PTSD Foundation in 2016.

One year later, Casey launched the namesake ride, "for combat veterans and first responders, [to] specifically create peer support right across the country for those people and their families."

"PTSD and operational stress injury is essentially a moral injury. It can be treated, and it's a matter of finding the right piece of the puzzle that works for you," Casey said. "It's just a different injury. So it was important for me to be able to raise awareness [around] that." read more here

What the hell is going on, or more to the point, why is it still going on? How many groups need to begin because of yet one more suicide that didn't need to happen? How many more need to "raise awareness" about #PTSD before they themselves become aware of what works instead of what they want to do based on abysmal limited knowledge of what works?

Yes, they understand the suffering especially if they suffer from PTSD. Yes, they know that it helps to stop isolating and be around people again. What they haven't become aware of is the simple fact that veterans and all those hit by PTSD because of their jobs need to learn the most important lessons of all.

The first one is millions of survivors join the PTSD club no one wants to belong to every year from surviving as a civilian and most of the time, all it takes is one time to do it. How many times do they face trauma on their jobs? Once they learn how prevalent PTSD is, they begin to understand that no amount of training can turn them into machines able to withstand what PTSD does. No matter how much training they are given, how brave, dedicated and tough they are, they are just human after all. 

The second one is that they may not be cured but they can heal and more often than not, they can become a better person than they ever imagined when they do heal. Why? Because they turn around and help others heal too and that spreads a lot faster than bad news. 

How about all these groups decide it is time to spread something veterans can find hope in instead of reminding them about how others took their own lives because they didn't find hope to help them stay alive one more day?


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Canadian veteran's best therapist has four legs, and really big ears!

A friend named Bert: A Canadian veteran living with PTSD finds hope in a donkey

CTV News Canada
Joel Haslam
CTV News Ottawa Multi-Skilled Journalist
December 27, 2022
Karen is living with PTSD. She is a veteran of the Canadian Forces, doing her best to live with a painful past.

Karen Stacey, a Canadian Forces veteran living with PTSD, enjoys a gentle stroll with her friend Bert (Joel Haslam/CTV Ottawa)
Karen Stacey swings wide a creaky, stainless steel gate, announcing her arrival.

“Good morning, Bert. Are you still sleeping?”

She’s come to see a friend; a soulmate of sorts, who’s changed her life.

“Hi, buddy,” she says with a smile.

Bert turns his head toward her, clearly recognizing his visitor.

His ears point to the sky.

“Hello, handsome,” Karen whispers.

She locks her arms around his neck and gives him a gentle peck between the eyes.

“He’s a blessing. I couldn’t have asked for a better success story than to have a donkey as my best friend.”
Karen and Bert’s friendship began at the Women Warriors Healing Garden in Blackburn Hamlet.

“It still hurts. So, finding this place and being able to let everything go is fantastic. This is 52 acres of freedom that I can wander as I want. No judgment, no stress, no pain. Just a lot of love,” she says.

Co-founded by an American military veteran, Erin Kinsey, and an Ottawa psychotherapist, Elaine Waddington Lamont, the garden is a place for veterans to heal.
read more here

Friday, November 19, 2021

When will Canada take PTSD in firefighters seriously?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 19, 2021

We are killing ourselves through suicide was the headline by Shannon Pennington ex IAFF Calgary, Executive Director, NAFFVN. It was something he wrote July 11, 2011 and I posted. I reposted it because of this newspaper article. Ontario plan to help first responders deal with PTSD. "Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the stress and danger faced by police, firefighters and paramedics can have a lasting and serious effect not only on their physical health, but their mental health as well.Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the stress and danger faced by police, firefighters and paramedics can have a lasting and serious effect not only on their physical health, but their mental health as well."

So why bring it up again? Because apparently not much has changed.

WARMINGTON: Even firefighters off with PTSD face unpaid leave and firing without jabs

The City of Toronto has told off-work firefighters with post-traumatic stress or other on-the-job injuries that until they are vaccinated, they are cut off from their worker’s compensation insurance payments. the Toronto Sun has learned.

For several firefighters, this was a “punch in the gut” they did not need.

“I went off on PTSD prior to the mandate,” said one. “I have been informed by the WSIB that the city contacted them to tell them they will not be paying me … This despite being diagnosed by a WSIB psychologist.”

Another firefighter said he’s been struggling ever since he wasn’t able to revive a patient.

“I wake up in a sweat every night,” said the firefighter.

This is when they are in need of compassion. Not cancellation. Firefighters who received this ultimatum to get vaccinated or not be able to feed their families say they were stunned by the correspondence on City of Toronto letterhead that has Acting Fire Chief and General Manager Jim Jessop’s name at the top and is CC’d to Payroll, Human Resources Consultant (Disability Management) at the bottom.
Read more on the Toronto Sun

Don't get me wrong here because I am all for getting vaccinated. I am looking forward to getting my third shot because of all the people out there who won't even get one, or wear a mask, or do anything else because they don't believe it. Forcing them to decide what they will do, is a no brainer. They have to pick one, like get vaccinated, wear a mask, stop acting like there is nothing to worry about, or get tested once a week on their dime. Forcing firefighters out of work because their jobs gave them PTSD is stupid! They can't work, so the rule should not apply to them. Are they trying to make it worse for them?

Friday, January 24, 2020

VA looking at expanding medical marijuana CANADA

Veterans Affairs considers expanding vaping options for medical marijuana

CBC News
Kevin Yarr
Posted: Jan 23, 2020

With new products for consuming cannabis coming on the market last month, Veterans Affairs is looking into whether it should expand the options it covers.
Vaping cannabis oils became legal in December. (CBC)

Oils for vaping, along with edibles, became legal in Canada last month. The cost of vaporizers for dried marijuana has been covered by DVA since 2014. Sandie Williamson, senior director of healthcare programs with Veterans Affairs, said that change has prompted a review.

"We regularly review different products and different therapies, different benefits that are coming onto the market," said Williamson.

"These products have just hit the market as of last month. There's still an evolution as to what will be available."

Veterans Affairs will be consulting with Health Canada on whether to include the new products in its rebate program. Williamson said if the product is approved, Veterans Affairs would not be involved in the choice of treatment of any individual.
read it here

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thunder Bay EMS responders getting more help for PTSD

'We see terrible things': WSIB budgets for Thunder Bay emergency services to increase by $1M

CBC News
Matt Vis
Posted: Jan 20, 2020
"It's really quite a vast array of calls. A lot of it is the unexpected or the unknown. A lot of times a lot of information isn't made available and in some cases it's a shock factor when you get there depending on what you have to deal with. Acting fire chief Greg Hankkio

Thunder Bay police and firefighters respond to a motor vehicle collision. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Emergency services in Thunder Bay are putting more money aside for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims, particularly related to mental wellness.

The WSIB allocations for the Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue and Superior North EMS combine for a $1-million increase in the proposed 2020 city budget.

'We see some terrible things' Leaders of the emergency services leaders identify mental health, and particularly post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a major reason for the rise.

Superior North EMS chief Wayne Gates said PTSD is having a significant impact.

"We see some terrible things out there," Gates said.
read it here

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Stolen Valor fraud ripped off over $2 million from women

FBI: Fraudster posing as petty officer helped fleece females for $2.1 million

By: Navy Times staff
September 6, 2019 
A probable cause affidavit filed by Special Agent Dean J. DiPietro, a member of the FBI’s White Collar Crime squad in Atlantic City, estimates that Sarpong and the other three people netted at least $2.1 million in the scams over the past 3 ½ years.
Rubbin Sarpong never was a U.S. Navy petty officer stationed in Canada or Syria who needed a little cash to come home to his loved one.

Although one victim sent him $50,000 in a series of wire transfers dating back to early 2016, according to court documents, Sarpong really was laundering her money, stashing it in bank accounts or doling it out to co-conspirators on two continents to further what authorities say is an ongoing swindle that preys on lonely hearts with a crush on military men.
Federal prosecutors say that Rubbin Sarpong on March 2, 2017, posted a photograph of himself on social media accounts, holding a large stack of cash to his ear like a mobile phone, with a caption reading "WakeUp with 100K... OneTime. Making A phone Call To Let My Bank Know Am Coming;" (U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey)

Sarpong’s alleged scheme was outlined in a 27-page federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Camden, New Jersey. It paints him as a grifter living in the south New Jersey town of Millville, with tentacles that reached out to at least 30 victims and three co-conspirators in the U.S. and the West African nation of Ghana.

Federal court records reveal that Sarpong was arrested Wednesday, a day after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
read it here

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Canada is making it harder for veterans to get help for PTSD

New federal questionnaire making it harder for PTSD veterans to get help, critics warn

CBC News
Murray Brewster
Apr 02, 2019

Veterans Affairs says the shorter form will be more efficient. One doctor says it could lead to more suicides.

Dr. Kris Rose, a clinical psychologist in Calgary, said the shorter form will end up thwarting efforts to get ex-soldiers the treatment they need. He said he has been "vibrating" with frustration since discovering the new form while treating a patient recently. He told CBC News the rewritten psychological/psychiatric form essentially has been stripped of almost all specific questions related to PTSD symptoms.
A truncated federal questionnaire could make it harder for veterans to receive PTSD benefits, critics say. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters )

A key psychological questionnaire for veterans about post-traumatic stress disorder was quietly rewritten late last year by Veterans Affairs Canada, CBC News has learned — a move experts say will make it harder for suffering veterans to qualify for disability benefits.

The form, which is filled out by doctors treating veterans with PTSD, was revised in December by Veterans Affairs Canada. The changes came as a shock to many psychologists and advocates who help former soldiers, sailors and aircrew with mental illnesses navigate the complex benefits system.

The Liberal government's new pension-for-life option for veterans came into effect on Monday — but the net effect of the changes to the questionnaire could be that fewer people qualify for PTSD benefits, and for the lifetime pension offered to veterans suffering from PTSD.

Specific questions about PTSD and references to its symptoms — such as nightmares, flashbacks and emotional 'numbing' — have been dropped.

What remain are more general questions about what the form refers to as "delusions, hallucinations, depersonalization, homicidal thoughts" and even "homicidal attempts."
read more here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Priest stabbed during mass...parishioners show no fear stopping attacker

Priest stabbed while leading Mass; suspect arrested after attack is caught on camera

Ralph Ellis and Sarah Jorgensen, CNN
March 23, 2019

A man who allegedly stabbed the elderly rector of a church in Canada during a televised Mass as shocked parishioners watched will appear in court Saturday.
The attack happened as the priest of St. Joseph's Oratory at Mount Royal led Mass on Friday morning at the church in Montreal, Quebec, police said.
The suspect's name was not immediately released. He is expected to appear by video feed Saturday afternoon at the Quebec Court Criminal Room. If any charges are filed, they will be determined by prosecutors, Constable Caroline Chevrefils said.

Police said the stabbing was not considered a terrorist attack, and described it as "an isolated act committed by one individual."

Father Claude Grou, 77, was taken to a hospital and is recovering, Chevrefils said.

The 26-year-old suspect was detained by security staff at the church and taken into custody by police, Chevrefils said. She said the suspect is known to police.
read more here

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Canada shortchanged up to 272,000 disabled veterans of roughly $165 million

Anatomy of a blunder: How Veterans Affairs quietly buried a $165M accounting error

Murray Brewster
January 11, 2019

It was an incredibly simple (and incredibly daft) mistake — and it led to a $165 million federal fiscal faux-pas.

Veterans look on during Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. New documents obtained by the CBC show how Veterans Affairs attempted to gloss over a $165 million accounting error affecting disability pensions. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press )

In 2001, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien made what appeared to be an innocuous change to federal tax forms.

It separated federal and provincial tax exemptions, shuffling the basic personal tax credit from one part of the document to another.

Staff at Veterans Affairs, who administer disability awards and pensions, did not pick up on the modification to the tax law for several years and ended up short-changing former soldiers — most of them elderly — who received disability pensions and awards benefits.

It was a mistake that cascaded, over time, into a whopping, multi-million dollar fiscal mess that Justin Trudeau's Liberal government began to mop up last fall.

CBC News has obtained hundreds of pages of documents under access to information legislation, and has conducted a series of background interviews with current and former federal officials, to understand the extraordinary blunder that shortchanged up to 272,000 disabled veterans of roughly $165 million.
read more here

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Canadian Veteran's dying wish, to step it with wife of 70 years!

Wife of ailing WWII veteran denied bed at Camp Hill

The Chronicle Herald Canada
Andrew Rankin
December 1, 2018
“I’m 97 years old and I’m only getting a few days here and there to see my wife,” said Vaughan. “This could go on until I die. Not a very nice thing to think about.”
The pair have been married for 70 years
Second World War veteran David Vaughan says he’s disappointed that his wife of 70 years is not allowed to live with him at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Hospital in Halifax. - Andrew Rankin

David Vaughan is nearing 100 years of age and the Second World War veteran wishes he could spend whatever time he has left with his wife Cecilia.

“I miss her a lot,” said Vaughan as he lay in bed at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Hospital in Halifax Monday evening. “She’s from Cape Breton, a wonderful girl. My best friend.”

The 97 year old, who served as a tank operator during the Italian campaign, found out from hospital staff this week that his 92-year-old wife Cecilia isn’t allowed to move in to the 175-bed long-term care facility.

Veterans Affairs confirmed this on Friday, saying all but 22 of the beds there are currently occupied by Canadian veterans. The Nova Scotia Health Authority pays a fee to the department for those beds. They’re occupied by regular civilians discharged from hospital and awaiting long-term care outside of Camp Hill.

Still, the facility currently boasts 28 vacant rooms.
read more here

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer Suicide Inquest hard to digest

Late RCMP officer's supervisor breaks down in tears at coroner's inquest

Updated: November 28, 2018

Ward said he would have spoken to Lemaitre after the Dziekanski incident but there were no discussions about correcting the information because once it was out in the media, there was not much that could be done about it.
A supervisor of an RCMP officer who took his own life in 2013 broke down Wednesday as he read the last few emails exchanged between the two men to a coroner’s inquest.

RCMP Supt. Denis Boucher, who was Pierre Lemaitre’s supervisor when he was moved to the traffic division, tells him they could meet up for coffee and chat in one of the emails.

“Hope you’re making progress in your recovery,” Boucher said, reading from one of his exchanges with Lemaitre. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ll always help you if I can.”

A few people in the courtroom also wiped away tears as they listened to the interaction between them.

Lemaitre was a sergeant and a media spokesman for the RCMP when he released inaccurate information, which the inquest has heard he wasn’t allowed to correct, about a man who died after a confrontation with police at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.

Lemaitre’s former family doctor and psychologist have told the inquest he had post-traumatic stress disorder from dealing with victims of crime but the incident involving Robert Dziekanski increased his depression and anxiety.

A former media strategist for the Mounties accused the department of betraying Lemaitre, testifying that he had been “hung out to dry” by his superiors who wouldn’t allow him to set the record straight. Atoya Montague told the inquest that Lemaitre was used to tell a false story about the death of Dziekanski, a Polish man who couldn’t speak English and became agitated after wandering around the airport arrivals area for 10 hours.
Boucher said he was aware that Lemaitre was suffering from PTSD and depression. He also described him as someone who had a strong work ethic.

Meanwhile, Lemaitre’s supervisor in the media division said Lemaitre didn’t seem overly stressed about the misinformation he gave the media after Dziekanski’s death.

John Ward, a retired staff sergeant, said part of the job of a communications officer is to trust that the information going out to the media is largely correct.

He was asked by a juror whether the RCMP was generally aware when it gave out incorrect information.

“I can’t recall where we gave out wrong information,” he replied. “We were careful about the information we gave out.”
read more here

‘They want to disappear’: psychiatrist speaks to Mounties’ PTSD struggle

Friday, November 23, 2018

First-responder from Collingwood died by suicide earlier this week

Sometimes it's not enough: how one PTSD survivor tries to save others

Barrie Today
Erika Engel
November 23, 2018

“Support for families is what we found was lacking,” said Angie Stevens, Bryan’s wife. While Bryan was first dealing with symptoms of PTSD and occupational stress, Angie didn’t know where to turn. “You go into this silent position because you don’t want to tarnish their image,” said Angie. “So you try to help them on your own.”

Bryan Stevens is the founder of Frontline Forward. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

A former air ambulance advanced care paramedic may no longer be treating wounds mid-air, but he is still caring for the wounded and broken.

Bryan Stevens is the founder of Frontline Forward, an organization and facility designed to support and educate front-line workers affected by occupational stress and dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He experienced PTSD first-hand and made the decision to retire early as a result. Through a support system, professional counselling, physical therapy, meditation and more, Stevens has learned to cope with PTSD and work through the symptoms.

“Thank God I battled through it, but it’s still a challenge,” said Stevens. “You can have all the right people around you and things to support you and still sometimes that may not be enough”

A first-responder from Collingwood died by suicide earlier this week. Mike Scott was a firefighter at Central York Fire Services in the Newmarket and Aurora area. Before that, he was a firefighter on The Blue Mountains Fire Department. Scott’s family asked for donations to Frontline Forward in lieu of flowers.

Stevens said Scott was a good friend, and the two talked often about working as a first responder and dealing with PTSD. Scott’s funeral is today, and Stevens came to Collingwood with his wife, Angie, to attend the service.

“It’s a heavy burden to carry all this hurt,” said Stevens, quoting a song by country singer Kevin Davidson, a former first-responder. “We have to come to understand we don’t need to carry all that burden.”

Understanding was the first hurdle for Stevens, a 30-year veteran paramedic with 12 years in Peel Region (Mississauga) and 18 years as an advanced care paramedic for Ornge based in London.
read more here

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WWI best sniper returned broken in spirit and morale

First Nations sniper never recovered from horrors of war

By Don Thomas
November 16, 2018
Labelle was not so fortunate. He returned broken in spirit and morale, recalls his daughter Yvonne Poucette, 79. Her shoulders shook with grief last Sunday near the stone marker at the Chiniki cemetery where Labelle was buried with full PPCLI honours when he died at age 91 in 1989.

The final resting place for First World War sniper Tom Labelle of the Stoney First Nation is a remote one, on the edge of a drumlin at the Chiniki band cemetery 30 kilometres from Morley.
The Stoney Nation honours the memory of First World War sniper Tom Labelle. Photo submitted by Don Thomas.

But it’s not a forgotten place, as seen last weekend when Stoney First Nations residents gathered to honour his memory on Remembrance Day.

Labelle volunteered for the Canadian army at age 17 by lying about his age. He was inducted into the 31st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry where his shooting skill and ability to take out German machine gunners endeared him to the officers.

Exactly how many Germans he shot is unknown. Certainly, it wasn’t as many as Corp. Francis (Peggy) Pegahmagabow, of the Shawanaga First Nation in northern Ontario — the war’s best sniper, German or British — who is credited with killing 304 Germans and capturing another 300.

But Labelle’s marksmanship may have saved the lives of hundreds of Canadian and British soldiers, since it led to German machine gunners being killed before they could slaughter Allied soldiers with their weapons.
read more here

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Canadian Widow Wins 9 Year Battle For Husband

Widow wins nine-year battle with Veterans Affairs over cancer coverage

The Chronicle Herald
Francis Campbell
November 3, 2018
“When he was diagnosed and we met with his oncologist for the first time, she asked was he exposed to chemicals. And we said, yes. He looked at me and he said, ‘Hon, the Persian Gulf War did this to me.’ He asked me to pursue it on his behalf and I did.”
Natasha Mohr stubbornly sticks to her promises.

Unfortunately, the Canadian Forces do not, she said.

“Sign on the dotted line, you’ll be taken care of,” Mohr, 49, said of commitments the Forces and the federal government make to military personnel. “And that is not so.”

Mohr said the broken promises to her Lower Sackville family began after Christmas Day, 2008, the morning her husband, Petty Officer Rick Mohr, passed away in her arms of brain cancer that was related to his 22-year naval career.

It took nine long years for Veterans Affairs Canada to begrudgingly agree that his death was service related.

Petty Officer Mohr had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, just more than two months earlier.

“He was a brilliant naval communicator and even more so, he was a loving father and husband,” Natasha Mohr said.

Rick Mohr was only 42. His death crushed his wife and the couple’s son and daughter, both in their teens.
read more here

Friday, November 2, 2018

Canada: Afghanistan veteran/Police Officer song about PTSD

'There is hope': Afghan vet releases song about battling PTSD Staff 
November 1, 2018

A Canadian veteran who served in Afghanistan has released a country song about his struggle to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Graham Trude co-wrote "Seen What I’ve Seen" and hopes to raise awareness of PTSD by donating proceeds from the song to support Wounded Warriors Canada, which runs mental health programs nationally.

Now a police officer in Orangeville, Ont., Trude served with the Canadian Armed Forces for four years with tours of duty in Europe and Afghanistan.

Despite retiring from the military seven years ago, he admits he still has tough days.

“I know other people who have these issues too and I wanted to make them aware that they are not alone and there is hope,” Trude told CTV Barrie.

“It’s not something you can just brush off when you get home. It’s something that really affects not only you but your family as well.”
read more here

PTSD Awareness Music Video - Graham Trude (Seen What I've Seen)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Some meds became the ties that bind veterans to suffering

What have we done to our veterans?

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 20, 2018

In 2004, the US Department of Veterans Affairs issued a warning on Lariam following a warning from the FDA the year before. VA Dr. Jonathan Perlin wrote it "may rarely be associated with certain long-term chronic health problems that persist for weeks, months, and even years after the drug is stopped."

There were suspected links to suicides, including Spec. Adam Kuligowski, Afghanistan veteran from Fort Campbell 101st Airborne Division. His father said that the drug was found in his system.

It was suspected in the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, convicted of killing 16 Afghans. He had PTSD and TBI. He was on his third tour when it happened. His case caused the military to stop using it in 2009.

Dr. Remington Nevin, epidemiologist and Army Major said "Melfoquine is a zombie drug. It's dangerous, and should have been killed off years ago. He added it was "toxic to the brain."

It is possible that this drug had something to do with crimes committed in Canada as well. The thing is, the veteran should have to pay for what he did, but should not be further punished with incarceration without psychological treatment.

This drug was given to many NATO forces. We should all be asking, "What have we done to our veterans?"


Controversial anti-malaria drug an element in Mark Donlevy's actions, says defence lawyer

Dan Zakreski
October 19, 2018
Donlevy is also scheduled to stand trial later this fall on 11 other sexual assault charges related to when he worked as a massage therapist in the city.
The lawyer for a former Saskatoon massage therapist guilty of sexual assault said Friday that his client was given a controversial anti-malaria drug in 1992, and the effects haunt him still.
Mark Donlevy at Court of Queen's Bench. (CBC)
Alan McIntyre raised the point during sentencing arguments for Mark Donlevy, at the Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatoon.

Donlevy was found guilty in September of sexually assaulting a woman he met through an online dating site. McIntyre argued for a three-year sentence, while prosecutor Cory Bliss said three-and-a-half years is more appropriate.

McIntyre raised the issue of the impact of the anti-malaria drug, while providing Justice Heather MacMillan-Brown with personal details about Donlevy's life.

McIntyre said that Donlevy took the anti-malarial drug while he was in Somalia serving with the Canadian military, and that it has affected him since then.
read more here

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Edmonton Firefighter Suffered in Silence

Marc Renaud took a job to save others as a firefighter. He was surrounded by others willing to die to do the same. 

So why didn't he think he was worth saving too?

Edmonton firefighter’s death prompts discussion about PTSD, mental health
Global News
By Julia Wong
Digital Broadcast Journalist
September 1, 2018
Paul Semeniuk, president of Mental Rescue Society, said showing support is key to helping someone in distress.

“A lot of people… don’t want to say the wrong thing. They don’t know what to say to show comfort or show empathy. A lot of people will just step back. I think it’s important that we step forward and show we are supportive,” he said.
Hundreds of firefighters from the Edmonton area gathered Saturday at the funeral of one of their own, as the fire chief spoke openly about mental health and post traumatic stress disorder.
Marc Renaud, 29, died by suicide last weekend. Renaud, who was off-duty, had been with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services for approximately seven years.

In 2014, another firefighter in Edmonton died by suicide, according to the organization Heroes are Human.
read more here

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Lloyd Theodore Maxwell, Canadian homeless veteran lonely death

Lloyd Maxwell died alone but not unnoticed
Ottawa Citizen
August 9, 2018

Lloyd Maxwell’s noon-hour funeral service on Wednesday at Beechwood Cemetery took less than seven minutes, his flag-draped coffin lowered into the ground shortly after Father Jeffrey King sprinkled holy water and poured sand on the casket in the shape of a cross.
Funeral for Lloyd Maxwell, a homeless veteran who lived at the Salvation Army. WAYNE CUDDINGTON / POSTMEDIA
“May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” King said. “Amen.”

In the distance, under steel-grey skies, a bugle played The Last Post. It would be nice to think it was playing for Maxwell, who served from 1969 to ‘71 as a reservist with The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, but that was not the case. Those particular notes and their timing were a coincidence, marking someone else’s passing, in another section of the cemetery.

Lloyd Theodore Maxwell died of natural causes on July 22, homeless but for those he knew in his final handful of years in residence at the Salvation Army Booth Centre shelter in the ByWard Market. He was 65.
read more here

Canadian veteran served 3 tours, ended life at Armoury

Leaving armed forces can create a deadly loss of identity, says top military psychiatrist
CBC News
Posted: Aug 08, 2018

Young veterans leaving the forces are at the highest risk of suicide, says the chief psychiatrist overseeing their care in Canada.
Master Cpl. Joseph Allina during one of three tours in Afghanistan before he retired from the military in 2016. The 35-year-old killed himself in July after struggling with PTSD. (Submitted by Sandra Weissinger)
And a suicide prevention strategy released last year to address this crucial period was not enough to save Master Cpl. Joseph Allina, who took his life in front of the Seaforth Armoury in Vancouver last month. He had retired from the armed forces in 2016 and was a day shy of his 36th birthday when he died.

"This points to the importance of that transition period," Veterans Affairs Canada chief psychiatrist Dr. Alexandra Heber told The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn on Wednesday.
A major study by Veteran Affairs Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces concluded last year that veterans are committing suicide in Canada at a much higher rate than the general population. 
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