Between November 2013 and January 2014, there were eight reported military suicides – three of which occurred within three days of each other. According to documents obtained by Global News, for every suicide reported in the Canadian Forces in 2012, there was at least one attempted suicide. Meanwhile, the military only reports ‘current’ male members who die by suicide, attempt suicide or when suicide is suspected.
Though several ideas – including combatting the stigma around mental illness, enhancing mental health support services and even lowering fitness standards to allow injured veterans to continue training – have floated around to combat the problem, more comprehensive financial planning services don’t appear to be on the radar.
“It’s this simple. Mental health injuries need to be considered in the same light as physical injuries. They need professional treatment,” Gen. Tom Lawson, the chief of defence staff, told the Globe and Mail last November, adding that clinics were short staffed, as the military compete with provinces for mental health services.
Meanwhile, even the public pension plans that support our military could be next on the chopping block. Canada’s auditor general, Michael Ferguson,
recommended Tuesday that the government re-examine the three defined benefit plans for Canada’s public servants, military and RCMP to assess the risks that could affect the long-term affordability and sustainability of these plans.
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