Ontario Providing More Supports for Veterans and Their Families
April 8, 2022
OTTAWA — The Ontario government is providing more than $1.2 million to the True Patriot Love Foundation to support veterans’ access to mental health services and training to help them as they transition back to civilian life. The funding will offer specialized supports, including creative arts, training in technical upskilling, a virtual veterans network to world-wide resources, as well as couples’ counselling programs and supports for women, including survivors of military-related sexual trauma.
“Veterans have devoted their lives to protecting us, and we must do everything we can to support them when they come home,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “I am grateful for the work that the True Patriot Love Foundation does and having met with several of the veterans they support, I am deeply moved by their stories and inspired by their resilience.”
An investment of $806,337 will help the True Patriot Love Foundation’s work with partners in Ontario to provide specialized mental health supports including:
- the Military Creative Arts initiative supporting veterans transitioning to civilian life by harnessing the mental health and social benefits of creative arts
- a virtual veterans network in Ontario that will offer one-stop online access to local, regional, national and international resources for Veterans
- the 2022 Captain Nichola Goddard Fund, offering an opportunity for survivor groups to support female veterans and their families in the province who live with military-related sexual trauma.
- the Bell True Patriot Love Fund, supporting the mental health needs of veterans and their families
- Wounded Warriors Canada programs helping veterans and their spouses acquire tools to deal with physical and social effects of post-traumatic and operational stress injuries.
The mental health funding builds on the Ontario government’s commitment to support the women and men who served our country and their families through investments in the Soldiers’ Aid Commission, mental health programs and civilian job skills training.
“True Patriot Love is proud to continue our partnership with the Ontario government, helping veterans and their families across the province,” said Nick Booth, Chief Executive Officer, True Patriot Love Foundation. “This crucial funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will allow us to continue to support mental health programming for veterans. The additional funding through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will provide veterans with the training they need to enhance their skills or transition to a new career in the tech sector. These two investments will continue to grow and develop Ontario’s support for those who have bravely served in our Armed Forces”.
True Patriot Love Foundation will also receive $472,540 to fund a project that will help 70 veterans or their spouses transition to civilian life through a variety of technical reskilling courses run over the next 12 months, including programs for web development, data science and cybersecurity. Graduates will be connected to job opportunities in their area of training, including data scientist and programming. The programs run until March 2023 and are now accepting applications.
“Ontario’s veterans have made incredible sacrifices to keep our province and country safe, and we need to do our part to support these heroes when they need it,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “The transition from military to civilian life can be a difficult one, particularly when it comes to finding a new career. Our government is proud to support the True Patriot Love Foundation in their work to help veterans reach their goals, build strong families and thrive in careers outside of the military.”
“Throughout our proud history, Canadians have shown exceptional bravery, resourcefulness and dedication in defence of our country. Our veterans deserve to be commemorated through initiatives like the new Cameron Highlanders Park in Barrhaven and Ontario’s Afghanistan War Memorial. Their sacrifice and resilience deserves to be recognized through the Invictus Games. And their whole health deserves to be supported, which is why I am proud of today’s investment into the True Patriot Love Foundation.”
Hon. Lisa MacLeod
Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, & MPP for Nepean
“This investment in the True Patriot Love Foundation is important to the many veterans and reservists. Veterans have put their lives at risk so we can live in a free nation. Today’s funding demonstrates our government’s commitment to giving back and supporting veterans on their journey back into civilian life.”
MPP for Carleton
“Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to make our country and province what it is today. Our government will always remember and honour the sacrifices made by our veterans, and this ongoing partnership with the True Patriot Love Foundation is another important way to support them.”
MPP for Ottawa West—Nepean
“This support will help our Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™ conduct and share practical research so that older adults and veterans can live life to the fullest. Through research and education, we will transform care for seniors and veterans. We are grateful for the continued support from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and True Patriot Love Foundation.”
Director, Centre of Excellence & Research Operations
- In 2020, Ontario passed the Soldiers’ Aid Commission Act, to renew the Soldiers’ Aid Commission and expand access to financial assistance to all eligible veterans of all ages and their families.
- Ontario is home to approximately 228,000 of Canada’s veterans.
- Each year, about 10,000 Canadian Armed Forces members are released from military service. One-third say they have difficulty transitioning to civilian life.
- According to Veterans Affairs Canada, about one-fifth of Canadian veterans experience a diagnosed mental health disorder at some time during their lives.
- Veterans and their families can find mental health and addiction services through ConnexOntario at connexontario.ca, as well as online and virtual supports at ontario.ca/mentalhealth
- Learn more about the True Patriot Love Foundation.
- Learn about the Soldiers’ Aid Commission and how it supports veterans and their families.