The Ontario government is investing more than $529,000 through the True Patriot Love Foundation to expand access to specialized mental health services and support for Ontario’s veterans returning to civilian life. The funding will be directed to community-based programs offering group counselling, and supports for women who suffered sexual trauma during combat.
“Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to keep our province and country safe, and we have a responsibility to be there to support them when they need us,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “I am proud that our government is prioritizing our veterans and I am grateful to the True Patriot Love Foundation for their delivery of this important specialized programming.”
The funding will help support True Patriot Love Foundation’s work with agency partners in Ontario to deliver targeted, specialized programs to veterans including:
- Group counselling programs facilitated by psychologists and veteran peer support workers that aim to reduce depression, substance abuse and suicide and strengthen family relationships, peer support and self-esteem.
- A program providing a safe space for female veterans to discuss experiences related to military sexual trauma.
- Group-based, psycho-educational and counselling programs for veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and their spouse/partner who are struggling with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Expanding programs and services currently being offered by mental health agencies, Military Family Resource Centres and other organizations serving the veteran community.
- Wounded Warriors Canada Trauma Resiliency Program, a clinically facilitated program helping veterans acquire the necessary tools to overcome the natural and understandable effects of traumatic exposure.
“True Patriot Love is honoured to be a trusted partner of the Ontario government as we work to support our veterans and their families in the province. We are proud to work with Ontario to finance community programs that are impacting the mental health of veterans and their families,” said Nick Booth MVO, Chief Executive Officer, True Patriot Love Foundation. “This significant investment will begin to develop a more coordinated and collaborative approach to mental health support in Ontario’s military charitable sector.”
In 2020, the government introduced legislation to modernize the Soldiers’ Aid Commission so veterans of all ages – not just those who served in the Second World War and the Korean War – will be eligible to apply for financial assistance. Building on this commitment to support those who served our country and their families, the government is making investments to support veterans’ mental health.
“Our veterans often face challenges upon returning home, which can lead to significant impacts on their mental health and well-being,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This investment will ensure more of our brave veterans are able to quickly access high-quality mental health care that meets their unique needs, in a setting where they are fully supported on their journey towards recovery.”
- Ontario is home to approximately 228,000 of Canada’s veterans.
- Each year, 9,000 to 10,000 Canadian Armed Forces members are released from military service. One-third indicate they have difficulty transitioning to civilian life.
- According to Veterans Affairs Canada, about one-fifth of Canadian veterans experience a diagnosed mental health disorder at some time during their lives– the most common are depression, PTSD and anxiety disorders.