Veterans Suffering From PTSD Helpline Canada
Recently a friend of mine (a veteran) suffering from PTSD was arrested for fighting with law enforcement in his home. With my knowledge of him and his nature, this was completely out of character. Then another veteran I know was telling me that he feels so alone suffering PTSD and felt the care he was getting from our government programs was not helping him. Another friend of mine; son, took his own life weeks after coming home from Afghanistan. The stories I know go on and on. So I started to look into what programs we offered to help our soldiers with PTSD. I found many but they all seemed to be offering statics on PTSD or requesting donations rather offer easy to access help. Then I found a grassroots program called Military Minds and what I learnt from them was the best help a solider can get is to speak with another solider that knows exactly what they are going through. So I then went looking for a Veterans Helpline in Canada and what I found was on VAC. What troubled me is their helpline is while it offered immediate 24 hour contact with someone on the other end of the phone; it was a “Good Listener” one that would put you in contact with a professional that will get back to you within 48 hours. Now I’m no expert, but if someone is reaching out for help, I don’t think they want to wait for a call back in two days. So what I’m proposing is that we in Canada request that our government implement a 24 hour helpline that is manned by combat veterans that are trained as crisis counselors, ones that can talk the talk and have walked the walk of the ones calling for help. It’s that one call that needs to be answered by someone that isn’t going to use a bunch of mental health responses, to solider that just wants to know they aren’t alone in their fight with mental demons. It could just save a life. Once a dialogue of soldier to soldier is established then counselors can be contacted with a follow up from the original call taker so the soldier knows someone really does care.