The Royal Canadian Legion has long been involved in supporting Veteran mental health. Mental illness can be a contributing factor to many of the challenges Canada’s serving military, RCMP and Veterans face, such as transitioning to civilian life, financial distress, or homelessness. Although the Legion cannot assist directly in the specialized area of mental health, our Service Officer Network can help Veterans and their families access mental health programs, services and benefits.
Through the Legion’s Service Bureau Network, trained Legion Service Officers assist Veterans in accessing mental health care and benefits, and connect Veterans and their families to mental health services and resources in their community. To further support mental health, the Legion recently ratified a new section of the organization that will focus on mental illness and related challenges. The Legion OSI Special Section, which will launch in 2017, is a member-driven, peer support network that assists Veterans and their families affected by operational stress injuries such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders and other conditions that interfere with daily functioning.
In addition to directly supporting Veterans, the Legion is affiliated with and supports numerous programs and initiatives across the country that address Veteran mental health, including the Veterans Transition Network, Joint Personnel Support Unit, and Soldier On to name a few. A Command Service Officer can help a Veteran access those services.
There is still much to be done to support Veterans. The Legion is advocating for better mental health policies and programs, and provides support for mental health research. The Legion actively promotes awareness around mental illness, sharing stories from Veterans affected with PTSD, and supporting initiatives such as the 2017 Invictus Games that help dispel the stigma associated with Veterans with physical and mental injuries. We will continue to support all Veterans and their families and advocate for improved research, care and access to services and supports.
If you or a Veteran you know is suffering, please contact a Command Service Officer for help. All Legion services for Veterans and their families through the Service Bureau are offered free of charge, and you don’t have to be a member to get help. Contact a Legion Command Service Officer
Learn more about Legion services for Veterans and their families: Veteran Services