TPL PRESENTS TRI-NATIONAL MILITARY MENTAL HEALTH SYMPOSIUM
September 24, 2012 – Washington, D.C.
The True Patriot Love Foundation was proud to host military and mental health leaders from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom today at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., to facilitate a teaming effort across multiple disciplines and countries that addresses the most critical military mental health issues, and to share best practices in order to promote successful outcomes for military members, veterans, and their family members.
“The True Patriot Love Foundation has shown extraordinary leadership by organizing this symposium in Washington. This event reinforces the fact that collaboration and cooperation are key to tackling and treating mental health injuries. These issues transcend organizational boundaries and territorial borders,” said the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walt Natynczyk, Symposium keynote speaker. “While we are making progress in breaking down ‘old school’ barriers to the identification and treatment of mental health issues, we still have much work to do to overcome the stigma and accelerate treatment. We will continue to work with our allies, partners and professional medical organizations to ensure those who need help, get it. We owe those who have sacrificed so much, the very best support we are able to provide.”
In a program including Parliamentary Secretary Chris Alexander and the Surgeon-General Jean-Robert Bernier, speakers outlined the purpose of the day. “Having come through ten years of war in Afghanistan, the countries represented here today are each facing difficult challenges in addressing the mental health and wellbeing of the men and women who served, and the families that served by their sides,” stated Shaun Francis, Chair and Founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation. “Today we will have a candid dialogue about the nature and scope of military mental health challenges, and how government, charities, and the private sector can work together to help ensure a prosperous and purposeful life for those men and women who have sacrificed so much.”
Active panel sessions included U.K. Surgeon Captain John Sharpley, Canadian Colonel and Lead Psychologist Rakesh Jetly , and U.S. Colonel Carl Castro, who challenged the organizations and leaders in attendance to act, “We can say the right things, but ultimately it is about what we do. As a manager of research, I know shortcuts don’t work. Our service members deserve the full treatment, with no shortcuts and efficacy based treatment.”
Going forward, True Patriot Love plans to further this international cooperation for the optimization of the lives of military members and their families by instituting a follow-up series and a rotating annual symposium.
ABOUT TRUE PATRIOT LOVE True Patriot Love is a national foundation that supports and honours members of the Canadian military and their families. It was founded by a group of citizens dedicated to building bridges between Canadian civilians and their military, in order to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices of soldiers and their families. In celebrating the patriotism of our military families, our foundation also strives to inspire Canadians to serve their country, whether it’s in or out of uniform.
Over the past three years, True Patriot Love was honoured to have raised $11 million to fund a variety of military programs, charities and causes, when and where it is needed most. Our three key areas of support are Family Health and Support, Physical Health and Rehabilitation and Mental Health and Well-Being.
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