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The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

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The scourge and ill effects of PTSD just won’t go away

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 15:18


Passing muster may sometimes appear romantic, but for many veterans there can be a giant dark side.

The scourge and ill effects of PTSD just won’t go away

By Terry Haig
Friday 16 December, 2016

Any doubts about the lasting scars–mental, physical and psychological–that members of the military carry with them as they prepare to face an ofttimes bleak and unpredictable future might well be dispelled by newly published internal Defence Department statistics.


Canadian troops taking part in a joint exercise with Polish troops not far from Ukraine’s western border earlier this year.

According to the records, obtained by The Canadian Press through the access to information law, more than 13-hundred troops assessed between June 2014 and July 2015 were at high risk of never returning to duty.

Of that group, 290 were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It’s a pernicious disorder, a life-long military legacy that most experts say never really goes away.

Don Leonardo lives with it every day.

A third generation member of the Canadian military who served as a peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, Leonardo is a long-time veterans advocate who is president of Veterans Canada, whose 8,000 members constitute the second largest (after the Canadian Legion) veterans group in the country.

When it comes to discussing PTSD, Leonardo knows all too well of which he speaks.

He joined me by phone from his home in Calgary.

Listen: http://www.rcinet.ca/console.php?id=7650029&image=http://img.src.ca/2016/12/16/635x357/161216_5g68c_rci-don-leonardo_sn635.jpg&locale=en&appCode=medianet

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/12/16/canada-the-scourge-and-ill-effects-of-ptsd-just-wont-go-away/

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Paws Fur Thought

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:25

Paws Fur Thought

GLOBAL NEWS MORNING
December 15 2016 6:51am

Veterans’ Advocate Peter Stoffer and Paws Fur Thought founder Medric Cousineau talk more about how PTSD Service Dogs are not treated the same as other service dogs when it comes to medical tax deductible benefits.



http://globalnews.ca/video/3128608/paws-fur-thought#[/b]

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Nova Scotia veterans, politicians call on feds to recognize PTSD service dogs

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 06:57

Nova Scotia veterans, politicians call on feds to recognize PTSD service dogs

During a press conference in Halifax, a cross-party group of politicians and veterans called on the government to allow a tax break for PTSD service dogs.

By: Zane Woodford Metro Published on Thu Dec 15 2016

A group of Nova Scotia veterans and politicians from two parties is calling on the federal government to level the playing field for people with service dogs for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Led by former NDP Member of Parliament Peter Stoffer, veterans Medric Cousineau and Stu Rodgers, PC leader Jamie Baillie and NDP MLA Dave Wilson held a press conference at Province House on Thursday to call for changes to the Disability Tax Credit.

As is, the credit allows people who are severely visually or hearing impaired, have sever autism, or severe epilepsy qualify for a tax credit for expenses related to a service dog.

People with PTSD do not qualify for that tax credit.

The federal government has said that it’s waiting to change that till it gets the results of a study on the efficacy of service dogs for people with PTSD.

“The reality is, we already know that service dogs for post-traumatic stressed veterans and civilians save lives,” Stoffer said. “We already know that. You don’t need a study that says that.”

Stoffer suggested the study was a delay tactic, and the government could make the necessary changes anytime it pleases. He said waiting till the study is done – likely a year from now – would delay the change to the tax credit till December 2018.

“You do not have to wait that long,” he said. “I’d like to remind my federal Liberal counterparts in government of Canada, you have a majority government. There’s absolutely nothing, legally, politically, socially, morally, nothing stopping them by the end of this day from making this happen.”

Cousineau, a retired Air Force Captain diagnosed with PTSD was paired with his service dog, Thai in 2012. He’s become an advocate for veterans using service dogs to cope with PTSD through his organization, Paws Fur Thought.

“What we’re asking for, the no less, the no more, is something that should be an absolute no-brainer, because we as Canadians will not stand for discrimination,” he said.

“I know if it was up to the Canadian public, they would fix this, and they would fix this because it is the right, Canadian thing to do.”

http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/12/15/nova-scotia-veterans-call-feds-recognize-ptsd-service-dogs.html









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Veteran with PTSD delivers blunt message to Justin Trudeau

Post by Guest on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 16:30

Veteran with PTSD delivers blunt message to Justin Trudeau

FRAM DINSHAW | STAFF REPORTER
Published December 15, 2016 - 4:06pm
Last Updated December 15, 2016 - 5:09pm


Ten months after writing to the prime minister advocating that psychiatric service dogs should be included in tax deductions retired air force Capt. Medric Cousineau says people suffering with serious mental health issues are “subjected to a systematic discrimination.”

Retired air force Capt. Medric Cousineau had one more mission to complete: trek 1,065 kilometres across Canada in 50 days to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

More than three years later his mission is far from complete, as he appeared in Halifax alongside former MP Peter Stoffer Tuesday to demand tax exemptions to help veterans who own service dogs.

Such tax exemptions exist for those people with conditions such as epilepsy or autism, but not those suffering from mental health issues.


Thai, service dog of Retired Captain Medric Cousineau, during the announcement on service dogs for veterans at the Province House.

“I find it scandalous that Canadians who suffer from serious mental health issues are subjected to a systematic discrimination,” said Cousineau, when asked what he would tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

His remarks come 10 months after he wrote Trudeau, calling on him to include psychiatric service dogs in tax deductions, saying that many of their owners are either veterans or first responders.

This was followed by a second letter in August to Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, urging him to address the issue of service dog tax exemptions.

Hehr replied on Dec. 9 that the government was funding three research initiatives related to service animals to assess how they may help veterans with PTSD.

Six days later, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that his biggest regret in the past year was a slow rate of improvement in supports for Canadian troops dealing with psychiatric injury and other issues.

But that wasn’t enough for Stoffer, who said Ottawa’s use of studies were “delaying tactics,” and something that he has seen for the past three or four years.

“The reality is we already know that service dogs for post-traumatic stress veterans and civilians save lives,” said Stoffer.

He said the Liberals could easily use their majority government status to vote on an amendment to ensure that psychiatric service dogs were covered by tax breaks.

“It’s as simple as that. It is not rocket science. It can be done,” said Stoffer.



http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1424795-veteran-with-ptsd-delivers-blunt-message-to-justin-trudeau

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PTSD top diagnosis for troops in danger of being forced from military

Post by Guest on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 17:20

PTSD top diagnosis for troops in danger of being forced from military: records

In this file photo, members of a Manitoba military base are seen walking along the Assiniboine River near Portage La Prairie, Man., Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 14, 2016 4:44PM EST

OTTAWA -- Internal Defence Department records show post-traumatic stress as the top diagnosis for hundreds of troops at risk of being forced out of the military because they are too sick or injured for duty.

The documents, obtained by The Canadian Press through the access to information law, underscore the toll the mental-health injury is taking on the Canadian Forces and those who serve in uniform.

They also highlight the importance of proper mental-health services for those still serving in the military, as well as those forced to leave for medical reasons.

Military personnel are required to be physically able to perform their duties and deploy on missions at any given time as a condition for continued employment in the Forces.

Anyone who is unable to meet this so-called Universality of Service principle for medical reasons is given time to recover. If recovery is not possible, they are released from the military

According to the records, produced by the military's health-services branch, more than 1,300 troops assessed between June 2014 and July 2015 were "at high risk" of never returning to duty.

Of those, PTSD was by far the most common diagnosis, with 290 cases, or about one in every four. That compared to 150 military personnel with back injuries and 124 with knee injuries.

Military health officials saw the same results between January and December 2013, when just over 20 per cent of the 1,217 military personnel at risk of being released had been diagnosed with PTSD, versus 12 per cent with back injuries.

The documents do not provide any explanation for the results, but the question of whether Canadian military personnel are receiving adequate mental-health supports has been a constant theme since the war in Afghanistan.

There have also been concerns about the difficulties which injured troops who are forced from the military face as they attempt to transition into civilian life, particularly if they have a mental-health injury.

National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said in an email that caring for military personnel is a top priority and that the Armed Forces are committed to providing the care and support they need.

"Great efforts are made to identify members at risk for mental-health problems and to provide them with assistance in the form of treatment, counselling, and other types of support," he said.

"We have an expert health-care system, but in order for us to help each other, it is essential that all military personnel, like all Canadians, recognize mental-health issues as they develop."

But Michael Blois, former president of the Afghanistan Veterans Association of Canada, said his fear is that troops with PTSD are being forced out more than those with back or knee injuries, because their cases are more complex, not because there are more of them.

"It's much easier to just get them out of the army," said Blois.

"As opposed to having the patience to see what kind of functioning comes back provided the right kind of care is given to them and the right people are available."
Finding ways to keep more personnel suffering from PTSD and other mental-health injuries in uniform would also help address the military's ongoing shortage of personnel, Blois said.

Auditor general Michael Ferguson reported last month that the Canadian Armed Forces is short roughly 4,000 trained people.

Following a report last month that 18 members of the military committed suicide in 2015, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan promised the government's new defence policy will spare no expense when it comes to supporting the troops.

The policy is expected early next year.

The military has also taken steps to fix the support unit for ill and injured military personnel, which had been plagued with problems stemming from understaffing and poor training for those who work in the unit.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ptsd-top-diagnosis-for-troops-in-danger-of-being-forced-from-military-records-1.3203615

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N.S. veteran lobbying for federal government to recognize PTSD service dogs

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 07:25

N.S. veteran lobbying for federal government to recognize PTSD service dogs



CTV Atlantic
Published Monday, December 12, 2016 8:30PM AST

A Nova Scotia veteran is taking on the federal government in his fight to have post-traumatic stress disorder service dogs recognized the way all other service dogs are.
Retired Cpt. Medric Cousineau says following his service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, his service dog Thai changed his life.
“She is the wheelchair for my mind,” he said.

Cousineau started an organization called "Paws Fur Thought" to help other veterans get psychiatric service dogs, and now he's taking his motion to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The issue is really quite simple,” he said. “If you have a service dog and you have severe autism, severe diabetic, epileptic seizures, it also covers guide dogs for the blind, your expenses for your dog are a medical expense tax credit.”

But owners of psychiatric service dogs do not. Cousineau says on Friday, he received a letter from the minister stating the government needs more time.
“They're our champion and they've abandoned us,” he said. “They've betrayed us.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has two projects underway to evaluate the use of psychiatric service dogs as a treatment for PTSD. They're expected to be completed by December of next year.
A communications advisor says that evidence will help the tax credit be considered more favourably by the Minister of Finance.

Former MP and veterans advocate Peter Stoffer says the letter is “a slap in the face.”
“The finance minister can just snap his fingers and make it happen,” Stoffer said. “Why are they putting up roadblocks and barriers? They know what needs to be done.”
Medric Cousineau says this is about much more than a tax issue.
“It manifests itself that way, but what this is really is a human rights issue,” he said. “We're being discriminated against.”
Cousineau wants to ensure everyone living with PTSD is treated equally.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-s-veteran-lobbying-for-federal-government-to-recognize-ptsd-service-dogs-1.3200539

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 14:03

k got ya rags I understand and do agree.

propat

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Rags on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 11:26

I was so pissed yesterday after the 4th suicide and foolish comments from morons like Romeo and Col Jetly. Some idiot on the news local talking crap about PTSD. I may have just flashed off a few comments without full explanations.
Propat I agree with you I was not clear enough of my view of point 5. I do believe it is treatable and treating it is so vital to survival and improvement. It is in no way Preventable!!!! In fact we keep lumping depression and PTSD and combat stress in same basket they are different. I subscribe to the US late 90s view of things which is that soldiers get Combat Stress under specific conditions, if not properly dealt with it develops into severe PTSD. But will always develop into some milder level of PTSD. Guilt is a key factor in length and severity of the PTSD coupled with treatment.

As for point 1 I subscribe to mid 90s view of the test for PTSD which is you have to be in the issue not just looking at its aftermath. Swiss Air is key explanation of the view. You cant get PTSD from clean up, only if you where in the crash and survived. It is that simple. Now to argue the issue of then how do first responders get PTSD if they just observe and are not the subject of the trauma in my argument. Well that is simple it is a combat stress concept, just apply the Combat Stress concept to first responder who is daily subjected to the visual trauma and stress of trying to save people which is not the same as just observing death. Day in day out eposed to this they get a form of combat stress if not handle a very specific way. That stress develops into PTSD.

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Teentitan on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 11:12

I strongly believe the 'culture' of being a tough guy in the CF is the biggest obstacle to overcome when dealing with PTSD.

A soldier does not want to show weakness so they hide it and let it fester.

I have told CF/VAC for years set up an after work hours place outside of the CF Base and more will step forward and ask for help.

As for point 5 I think the word Manegable should have been used instead of Preventable. The word preventable purely contradicts point 1.
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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 08:04

rags buds kinda gotta partly disagree.NOT ON THE ROMEO POINT.

on point one I see no way for it to be preventable but I do see how all CAN be vulnerable to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. im not saying they WILL get it just saying they can. say heightened vigilance and anxiousness. you get involved in something and soon as it gets noisy BAM you get faster you think faster you sweat faster,move faster. this continues as long as the perceived threat is there and then you have a very noticeable crash sometimes you vomit at this time. yes maybe severe but not prolonged just there as long as you need it. maybe PTSD maybe not but it sure does match a lot of the symptoms.

on point 5 as I said I don't think its preventable but I think its treatable not to the point of elimination but treatment can help you live with it a little better.

just my opinion

propat

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Rags on Wed 04 Dec 2013, 20:45

Doubt that. Guilt is huge issue with severity of PTSD and not recovering. Had Romeo done the right thing he would have had a different out come.

Points 1 and 5 are not accurate, I dont buy into the concept portrayed in either point. Especially point 5.

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by RobbieRoyal on Wed 04 Dec 2013, 17:18

I agree to your post and it saddens me watch more like myself suffer a far worse fate than myself, you see I was given no help and I made it but it was not because of the services offered through my release, no it was a desire to be human and treated with respect, and a very strong wife who pushed me into a survival mode far greater than the military would have. 20 years ago we suffered in silence and today I watch my brothers commit suicide and still they are silent, such a shame god such a shame.
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by Richard Roskell 3 hours ago

Post by Ex Member on Tue 03 Dec 2013, 22:47

Richard Roskell 3 hours ago

The facts are simple and compelling:

1. EVERY human being who is involved in or witnesses a traumatic event is vulnerable to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is no immunity.

2. PTSD can be mild or it can be severe. There is no way to predict which individuals will be most vulnerable to it, nor which specific traumatic event will be the trigger.

3. The more responsible a person is for dealing with a traumatic event- as with soldiers and first responders- the more likely that person is to suffer from PTSD.

4. Even mild PTSD can be debilitating and lead to serious consequences. Severe PTSD can be deadly, both for the victim and those around him.

5. Although its a serious condition, PTSD IS BOTH PREVENTABLE AND TREATABLE. The vast majority of people who receive prompt treatment recover fully. Those who do not receive treatment rarely recover on their own.

Had the Canadian Forces provided Mr. Dallaire with adequate treatment after Rwanda 20 years ago, in all likelihood he would not have suffered from PTSD nor be subject to its debilitating consequences today. That Canadian soldiers are killing themselves due to PTSD even now is inexcusable

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by Ex Member on Mon 28 Oct 2013, 21:09

Sometimes we are the most critical voice for actions that we have done  
But like everything in life , time heals, never be too hard on yourself, the past is the past, what's done is done, you'll find if you can put it to bed, forget about it, because you can't change it, move forward , always ahead, positive and tackle life like you were born today, 2nd chances happen, it's up to you to not dwell on past memories or failures, there done, look forward to future successes

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Re: The Defence Department has sent a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a bill for $427.97

Post by hatshepsut on Mon 28 Oct 2013, 19:54

I'm the same...released in 1994..actually I ran, I asked for a 30 day release. No questions asked. I had almost 18 yrs in. I had worked hard and was a good soldier. Nobody even asked me why. So much had happened.
I finally reached my breaking point in 2007. Scary times. Someone suggested I contact VAC. I didn't even know I could. Didn't know there was help. Because I had never been screened and my release was voluntary I guess that information is not passed on.
I lost so much. I lost my house and everything. I wish I had known there was help sooner. I took whatever work I could find but I had no skills. I cooked in a couple kitchens, shovelled asphalt, whatever I could find. I had 9 different jobs in less than 13 yrs. At one point I was working 3 at once. Whenever things got tense I ran. I felt like such a failure, like I let my family down , and so lost. I still feel like a failure, but I'm working on it.
Feels good to talk. Thanks for listening.
Enough for tonite.

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