What happens when soldiers and officers are done their duty?
Everything that makes a good soldier ends up worsening their mental health. We train them for their time in the military, but not their time after.
We train soldiers to show no fear; when they return or end their service, their training tells them to hide anxiety or stress from the people they love.
We train soldiers to push through the unbearable; when they return, they hold themselves to unrealistic and unhealthy standards of success.
We train soldiers to become desensitized to violence and human suffering; when they return, they have limited capacity for empathy, trust, & connection.
All the things they’re conditioned to do to protect their country end up being the things that prevent a healthy return & readjustment to non-military life. This is true for individuals who were never deployed. We set them up to fail.
Between 1976 and 2014, 230,000 Canadian veterans died by suicide.
As of March 2019, 33,611 Canadian Veterans were receiving disability benefits for a service-related mental health diagnosis. 71% of those individuals had a service-related diagnosis of PTSD.
In 2015, Canadian veterans made up 2.7% of the total homeless population in the country.
As a country, we need to do better. As a community, we need to support harder.
Lest we forget the service our vets did for us, and lest we forget that THEY need OUR help when they return.