Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Ex Member on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 11:23

Very good Danny ~ my dog Daisy is my therapy dog as well.

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Soldiers with PTSD might not get full pension, advocates warn

Post by Ex Member on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 22:00

This article is dated  in 2014 but it is still indicative of the current policy and struggles soldiers still are  facing presently with PTSD and being forced to medically release before 10 years of service which needs to be addressed by MVA Hehr and the policy makers

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/soldiers-with-ptsd-might-not-get-full-pension-advocates-warn-1.2849854

The mental-health struggles of Canadian soldiers have caught a lot of political attention of late, but veterans advocates remain concerned that PTSD could jeopardize a soldier's pension.


A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member has to serve 10 years before being eligible for a full pension.


But by coming forward with physical or psychological injuries — such as post-traumatic stress disorder — in their first decade of service, many soldiers are at risk of being medically released and losing out on a full pension, says Michael Blais, president and founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy.


"It seems there's a dedicated effort to release those who are wounded prior to the 10-year period," says Blais.


"As a consequence, we have these kids out there, seriously wounded and no pension, and feel they've been abandoned."


On Tuesday, two days after the government pledged to spend $200 million over six years on mental health counselling for soldiers, Auditor General Michael Ferguson released a report criticizing the military for making it so difficult for soldiers to get psychological treatment.

■Mental health in the military: Ottawa to spend $200M over 6 years
■Auditor general criticizes veterans' mental-health services


Neither of these two announcements, however, address the issue of soldier pensions.


Meeting the 'Universality of Service'

As with many vocations, every member of CAF pays into a pension.

Auditor General Report 20141125
A report by Auditor General Michael Ferguson has criticized how difficult it is for psychologically troubled soldiers to receive mental-health counselling. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)


In order to work, however, they must meet the military's "Universality of Service" standards, which are a set of physical and psychological criteria that ensure a member is fit to carry out their designated job.


According to the Department of National Defence (DND) website, "every member, regardless of military occupation, must meet the Universality of Service standards in order to remain in the CAF."


If members sustain a physical or psychological injury any time during their service, they can seek rehabilitation services and counselling in order to regain their ability to meet the Universality of Service standards.


But because they aren't eligible for a full pension before they've completed 10 years of service, many soldiers feel that coming forward with a PTSD complaint in their first decade could put them on a fast track to dismissal, says Peter Stoffer, an NDP MP and veterans affairs critic.


Once the Department of Defence determines that a person has PTSD, "all of a sudden the clock starts ticking on your removal from the military," says Stoffer, who is calling for the abolishment of the 10-year rule.


Based on the current rules, if Armed Forces members are released prior to the 10-year mark, they are only entitled to a return of their pension contributions.


'Arbitrary and unfair'


The ombudsman for the Canadian Forces has called the Universality of Service rule “arbitrary and unfair."


In October, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson denied the notion that service members are dismissed prematurely.


"No member of the Armed Forces is let go until they are ready to move on," he said.


According to a document produced by DND called "Caring for our Own," when a CAF member incurs an injury or illness that results in an inability to meet the Universality of Service standards, "our goal is to prepare the individual for transition" to the reserve force "or to civilian life."


Stoffer says that because the Universality of Service standards compel soldiers to be combat-ready at all times, the attitude at DND is "if you're not deployable, you're not employable."

CANADA-POLITICS/
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson has said that 'no member of the Armed Forces is let go until they are ready to move on.' (Chris Wattie/Reuters)


Data released from the Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey last month shows that one-third of Canada's soldiers worry that seeking mental health services would harm their career.


The survey, which was developed by Statistics Canada with the DND, interviewed about 6,700 regular force members and 1,500 reservists between April and August 2013.


Stoffer says there are currently 200 cases of people with mental health issues being let go before the 10-year mark.


"I'm dealing with a guy right now who's going to be kicked out at nine years, six months – he's six months shy of the full term," Stoffer says.


He says the 10-year rule is "a cost-cutting measure."


When asked whether the 10-year-rule was indeed a way for the government to save money, a media representative for the Canadian Forces referred CBC News to two Canadian Forces web pages that spell out military benefits.

Need for 'creative' solutions


Veterans advocates say that the PTSD designation not only affects their members' pension eligibility, but could also limit their job prospects outside the force.

Blais from the Canadian Veterans Advocacy says that even if they don't meet the Universality of Service standards, a wounded soldier should still be able to serve.


"Maybe not in a deployment zone, but in Canada [somewhere]," says Blais.


Philip Ralph, an army reservist and national program director at the advocacy group Wounded Warriors, says the government should look for other ways to accommodate those who sustain lasting injuries while serving.


Ralph suggested keeping them on until they qualify for a full pension or creating some sort of disability pension "that would give them the dignity of their service."


Given how, as a soldier, "you put your life on the line for your country," Ralph says the government needs to "be more creative in thinking of ways" to help those who sustain PTSD early in their military career

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by BinRat on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 23:46

Yup, back in 1993 When I was released my Calculations had me over 10 years.. Once I got it from Pay Office
9 Year's 201 Days... and Good bye....

I tried getting it Looked at, but gave up with it since I was to busy to Fight Vac at the same time, now that is to late
to fight and I am still fighting with VAC..

Hmmmm, oh well

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Teentitan on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 00:39

Well I did float this idea with VAC about 3 years ago....if a CF member is over 9 years of service then they can 'buy' their last year to get to 10 for the "partial pension" (Blais was corrected for years by a lot of us that 10 years is partial not full pension).

The people I talked to did not dismiss it or brush me off. They actually listened as it makes sense and it seemed fair. Especially if in Bin Rat's case he could have bought the 164 days.
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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by BinRat on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 10:51

Would of been nice if I had the option back then I would of taken it, but ya wasn't given to me as a option Sadly..

But to clarify as well, I bought back previous Reserve Class B service.

The Sad part was, and why it came out to 9 years 201 days was on one of my class "B"s it was 3 Months Gagetown
working in Range Control. Well when they were calculating it, they didn't count those 3 months because according to
the Information it was only 89 Days of Class "B" and unless it was 90 days, they wouldn't count it.

but still had they then I would of then been 9 years, 290 days, still 75 days short
But I was confused cause according to what I had read Class "B" was supposed to be day for day.. I dunno I just feel
I got the shafted back then but, nothing I can do now...

I think that should be an option and offered to people with over 9 year mark, and or an extension until they do have the 10 in

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Teentitan on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 10:54

Well maybe going forward they will look at this option Bin Rat. I know it would blow for the previous soldiers but going forward for the future vets would take some of the sting out.
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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by BinRat on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:14

Yes, hope it would, or make it part of the release package, checklist when informed they are being released to be included as to a whole service check to make sure

their time in service is actually looked at, and can have a intervention if needed like - buy back or an extension to carry them to that 10 year mark

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Guest on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 05:58

Researchers pinpoint circuits that drive PTSD flashbacks

"It's like sort of boxes opening up, and your brain just launches these things without you actually trying to stimulate them." That was how then-senator, and retired general, Romeo Dallaire described the flashbacks that bubble up in his head.

Dallaire made the comments in a 2013 interview with the CBC's Sunday Edition, 20 years after the Rwandan genocide he tried to stop.

He's far from alone in dealing with those type of unwelcome flashbacks. An estimated 10 per cent of Canadians struggle with depression, flashbacks and panic attacks as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

About 14,000 Canadian veterans also suffer from PTSD, including Dallaire.

And the retired general's description aptly sums up how brain circuits work. It also fits with recent brain research on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos is the director of the Brain Science Centre at the Minneapolis VA Medical Centre, a large veterans' hospital in Minnesota.

Researchers there say they've pinpointed the neural circuits that drive PTSD flashbacks and panic attacks.

"Your brain is a dynamic network," said Georgopoulos, describing how healthy brains form neural networks, and then wipe the slate clean and start all over.

"So when you have, let's say, a visual stimulus come in to your eyes, then the visual network that receives that information becomes temporarily locked. That individual system lasts for a few seconds. And then very quickly, [the network] becomes again ready to absorb new information."

That's how nine of out of 10 people process their experiences, be they mundane or horrific. One out of 10, however, don't wipe the slate clean. Dreadful sights and sounds resonate in their heads.

Georgopoulos' lab can spot PTSD sufferers by magnetically scanning their brains, a procedure called magnetoencephalography.

"The healthy people had the ability to maintain the flexibility of their networks at various trauma strength exposures," said Georgopolous.

Those with PTSD, though, have what he calls "inflexibility" in their neural networks.

"Their networks were locked in and could not be modulated," he said.

Based on a one-minute scan, Georgopolous' team can spot inflexible PTSD circuits with 95 per cent accuracy.

If they do detect PTSD, drugs can be prescribed as a treatment.

A variety of behavioural therapies aimed at getting stubborn brain circuits to unlock can also help.

"You can sort of re-package that all together and put that memory aside," said Dr. Lisa James, a clinical psychologist at the Brain Science Center.

"So it allows for their brain to de-correlate and become more flexible, so that that memory isn't just constantly there, popping up."

PTSD flashbacks are hard to shake. The more we learn about how neural circuits recycle or get stuck, the better treatment will be.

And the dividends could be huge. The locked circuits in PTSD are located in the brain's temporal lobe, just above the right ear.

The stubborn thoughts associated with neuroticism, psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder originate elsewhere in the brain, and can also be picked up in magnetic scans. Solving the PTSD riddle may help solve these as well.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/researchers-pinpoint-circuits-that-drive-ptsd-flashbacks-1.3432581


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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by RobbieRoyal on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 06:30

Look troops it is the ABC's of denial at the top to smother a system that can not or will not allow our veterans the absolute undeniable benefits that lured most to sign up and become a soldier period.
This taffy pull has been nothing but "Smoke and Mirrors" as my buddy Teen stated. Proof 300 million not used on our Veterans, 1.3 billion stolen from our veterans, 2000 plus veterans homeless, charters and policies designed to crunch numbers are simply killing our veterans and denying a quality of life that is rightfully ours.
I for one feel like shyte when I feel like I have to beg for a service that is rightfully mine and then it is I that must generate requests from my health care provider circle to prove I am worthy of my customer clients time. This system is not veteran friendly in fact it allows the stigma to unfold every single time we require any service, it is sickening and disgusting that we as veterans have to relive our illness every day to have validity in a service designed to assist and provide a humane quality of life.
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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Guest on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 11:07

Your right Robbie..not Veteran friendly..Mr. Hehr has promised to change that..where is Mr. Hehr ? And when will Mr. Hehr start showing himself more often an speak to the Country in given Veterans updates as to the progress of these so called changes ?

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Re: Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by Rifleman on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 13:42

He is to busy with all other topics then one of the most important ones that he should be concerned about it says it right in fracking job title. VETRANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now shit or get of the pot UPDATE REQUIRED!!!!!!!!!!!

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Veteran with PTSD finds dog therapy beats medication

Post by pinger on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 14:34

Twisted Evil ... yesterday!
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