Military mental health plan recognizes special forces needs

Sun, May 15: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tells Tom Clark when it is safe, appropriate and proper processes have been followed, media should have access to Canadian special forces in Iraq.

Canada’s elite special forces soldiers may often operate in the shadows, meaning many of their deeds may go unrecognized this Remembrance Day.

But they are now being told not to suffer in silence.

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Sergeant Toby Miller was wounded by an I-E-D in Afghanistan while serving with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment in 2011.

He was later diagnosed with P-T-S-D and released from the military.

Miller says coming forward may be difficult for many special forces members, partly because they can’t talk openly about their experiences.

But he says he is hopeful new initiatives will help address some of the unique problems they face.

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When the government unveiled its plan to combat suicide and improve the mental health of military personnel and veterans last month, it included four initiatives specifically aimed at the special forces.

It was a public acknowledgment that Canada’s commandos, who usually operate in high-risk, high-stress environments, have different needs than the rest of the Forces.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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