PTSD – There is Help
Prince George, B.C. – The tragedy in Nova Scotia this week which saw four people die in what is believed to be a murder suicide, has once again turned the spotlight on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The bodies of a 33 year old man, his wife, daughter and mother, were discovered in their Nova Scotia home . The deceased male had served in the Canadian Military in Afghanistan. While the investigation continues into this tragedy, there are suspicions PTSD played a part.
Prince George Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43’s Joe Elliott is feeling the loss “The Royal Canadian Legion and the veteran community here in Canada would like to express their sorrow, their thoughts and prayers to the family and friends affected by this horrible tragedy.”
Elliott, who as an Executive with Branch #43 is focused on Occupational Stress Injury, says there are still barriers for those with PTSD to access treatment “The main one is admitting you’ve got PTSD and recognizing the signs”. He says family and friends can also suffer from PTSD and says many males have a more difficult time admitting they have a problem, or seeking treatment. “They don’t think they have a problem, or if they do, they think they can fix it themselves.” The third barrier is actually reaching out and asking for help.
There is help available says Elliott “The Royal Canadian Legion works with Veterans Affairs and Northern Health. They all have facilities or people there to help those with PTSD. The first point of contact can be your local Doctor, or the hospital, come and talk to any of the local Legions, ask to speak to a Service officer, and they will get you in touch with the right people to help you. There’s all sorts of telephone help lines, social media, and support groups through Veterans Affairs, so yes, there is stuff there.”
But there is a geographical problem when it comes to accessing some resources says Elliott as most of the specialized treatment programs are offered in the major urban centres such as Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa “And there’s waiting lists to get to see the relevant personnel.” He says while there are programs and psychiatric help available in Prince George, it could take a couple of months before someone with PTSD can connect with some of the programs and services. Having to wait is not an issue that is unique to Prince George, says Elliot, it is a common problem right across Canada “It would be great if we had more money and more professionals to help our veterans.”
He is concerned, there may be more cases of PTSD on the horizon, “On average, it can take ten years before PTSD can raise its ugly head, so we are right in the middle of a ten year anniversary of Canadians in Afghanistan.”
You don’t have to be a veteran to suffer from PTSD.
According to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association of Canada, there are many symptoms linked to PTSD and may include:
- a deep sense of helplessness,
- problems at home or work,
- abnormal fear,
- feelings of devastation,
- flashbacks from the event,
- a feeling of numbness,
- aversion to social contact, or
- avoidance of situations that might trigger memories of the event.
The Association says some physical responses may include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, irritability, anger outbursts, difficulty with concentration or memory, feelings of vulnerability, fear of normal every-day activities, or feeling overwhelmed by the smallest of tasks.
“The first thing to do is to recognize the signs” says Elliott “and talk to your Doctor. I can’t emphasize enough the first contact should be with your doctor and if you’re a veteran, please contact your local Legions and ask to speak to a Service Officer, we are here to help.”
They offer more assistance to people who do fentanyl and really have no regard for their own life, AND at taxpayer’s expense! Whereas people who have fought for this country, peace officers, emergancy personal, etc. are almost put on the back burner for a later date. This kind of priority burns me!!
What they do is **react** to the fentanyl problem, to ignore it, would be to have dead bodies lying in the alleys of our cities. You cannot compare the two problems.
Whats to stop the local service officers from making contact with all Veterans in the area to see how they are doing, and talk to them directly?? They must have some kind of a list of Veterans.
If you read the list of symptoms of PTSD you can see that it would be difficult for Veterans to take the necessary action to get help.
I have a couple of buddies who have been diagnosed. They had to go the route themselves, but once they did help was available. As for these fentanyl ‘victims’, doesn’t matter as they didn’t give it their all, services went out of the way for these people for assistance, so I have no sympathy whatsoever. Maybe no comparison but the priorities are screwed up. My grandson just got out of the army, and after having conversations I am glad he did. Support is not there for them while even being in the army, a tad dysfunctional.
To those of you thinking of joining the armed forces, don’t. The government of the day will use you as a pawn for thier selfish political advancement then just cast you aside once of no more use.
Those leaving the forces for medical reasons are cast out before any forms of pension comes into effect leaving many with no income for months. Then it could be a one time payout instead of regular income. But hey those politicians that used you have set themselves up for life.
Legs missing one has to prove on a regular basis they haven’t grown back.
Our Armed Forces can (should) perform one important service only, that being the protection of our homeland. Even neutral Switzerland has a home protection force. Mexico’s constitution for instance prohibits the deployment of its soldiers on any foreign soil. Perhaps not a bad idea, because that way they stay out of the never ending problems of other countries. We can use our money spent on protecting ourselves here by having a first class military with proper equipment. That is a very necessary and noble role.
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