What is the Minister of Veterans Affairs doing?

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What is the Minister of Veterans Affairs doing?

Post by Guest on Sun 01 Oct 2017, 15:23

Veteran Affairs minister visit a family affair

By Lookout on Oct 01, 2017



Lieutenant Commander Danny O’Regan, Commandant of Fleet School; Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs; Jackie Carlé, Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) Interim Executive Director; Kaitlyn Ross, MFRC Veteran Family Program Coordinator; Pauline Sibbald, MFRC Social Worker; and Base Commander Capt(N) Jason Boyd gather outside the MFRC building on Signal Hill for a group photograph. Photo by Jon Chabun, MFRC

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

In early September, Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan made a one-day stop in Esquimalt. The recently appointed cabinet minister was in town to meet with senior naval leadership, tour dockyard, and drop by the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) to discuss the rollout of the Veteran Family Program.

Meeting him at the MFRC was his younger brother, Lieutenant Commander Danny O’Regan, Commandant of Naval Fleet School (Pacific).

A gaggle of O’Regan family members were in Ottawa just days before to witness Minister O’Regan’s swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall.

“Now he is essentially my boss,” said LCdr O’Regan. “I was on leave in St. John’s after taking the red eye when he called me and said he had been named minister and we had to come to Ottawa for the ceremony.”

The representative from St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, not only heads Veterans Affairs Canada but is also the Associate Minister of Defence as part of his first-ever cabinet appointment. The cabinet appointment came following the resignation of Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote, precipitating a cabinet shuffle by the Prime Minister.

LCdr O’Regan remarked how the ceremony in Ottawa was also a family celebration of courage and recovery. That’s because back in January 2016, when Seamus was still a back bencher, he announced to the nation on social media that he was seeking treatment for alcoholism.

Family, friends, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rallied around him throughout his recovery process.

“That’s a big reason why the swearing in was an especially proud moment for myself and the entire family,” said LCdr O’Regan. “My brother has gone through a lot over the last few years and to see him work hard for his constituency, and to see it all come to a pinnacle was exhilarating.”

Minister O’Regan takes over his new post from former Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Kent Hehr, who saw the department through a major transition phase. The big changes included the re-opening of nine previously mothballed regional Veteran Affairs Centres, the hiring of 400 support staff, and the implementation of multiple new support programs, including the MFRC`s Veteran Family Program.

That program was piloted in Esquimalt and six other centres for a year-and-a-half before rolling out to all 32 MFRCs across Canada in May 2017. It is designed to support medically-releasing veterans and their families with resources made available through the MFRC.

Jackie Carlé, MFRC Esquimalt Interim Executive Director, says Minister O’Regan’s visit provided an opportunity to have a discussion about the challenges of the new program.

“The minister was genuinely interested in finding out more about this portfolio and we were grateful for the opportunity to meet with him and talk about our community focused approach to this and other services at the MFRC,” she said.

Minister O’Regan spent the evening with his brother where he was treated to a home-cooked meal that included turkey burgers prepared by LCdr O’Regan’s wife Tesh. The next morning he witnessed his nephew Daniel Jr. set off for his first-ever day of school.

http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/veteran-affairs-minister-visit-family-affair/

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Re: What is the Minister of Veterans Affairs doing?

Post by Guest on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 16:27

Ministers O’Regan and Sajjan Mark Mental Illness Awareness Week


Statements
From Veterans Affairs Canada


October 3, 2017 – Ottawa – Veterans Affairs Canada / National Defence

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week:

“This year, we mark Canada’s 25th Mental Illness Awareness Week. It is an important week, not only for Veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), but for all Canadians. This week promotes awareness of all mental health issues, including illnesses like depression and anxiety, as well as operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that affect Veterans, CAF members, and their families.

“No one should feel alone on the road to recovery. The process of learning to manage and heal mental illness is challenging, so we encourage all Canadians to talk with each other and spread the word about mental health to help themselves heal and finally end the stigma.

“We would like to thank the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association, for the work they do in building awareness and providing Canadians with tools to manage mental illness and promote well-being.

“Through Budget 2017, Veterans Affairs Canada will provide additional supports for mental health, including investment in a new Centre of Excellence specialized in mental health and PTSD. The Centre will focus on research and best practices, knowledge transfer, and the development of tools to support treatment by health care providers across the country.

“Canada’s new Defence Policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – focuses on the number one capability of the Canadian Armed Forces: the brave women and men who wear the uniform. The new defence policy ensures that our people in uniform are well-supported and resilient— physically, psychologically and socially. Additionally, the CAF will augment the Canadian Armed Forces Health System to ensure it meets the unique needs of military personnel with effective care, anywhere they serve in Canada or abroad. This includes growing the Medical Services Branch by 200 personnel.

“The policy is but one element of a joint commitment by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence that will ensure Veterans, members of the CAF and their families have access to the mental health support they need, where and when they need it.

“We encourage all Veterans and CAF members to join the conversation on mental illness and reflect upon their own mental health, so that they can take the steps needed to optimize their well-being.”



Contacts

Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Phone: (613) 996-4649

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
Phone: 613-992-7468
Email: VAC.Media-Medias.ACC@vac-acc.gc.ca

Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: (613) 996-3100
Email: jordan.owens@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

https://www.canada.ca/en/veterans-affairs-canada/news/2017/10/ministers_o_reganandsajjanmarkmentalillnessawarenessweek.html

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