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Final Report Summary

Recipient: Canadian Virtual Hospice
Project: Online psycho-educative grief supports for Veterans and their families: Filling a national gap
Province: Manitoba
Period: Fiscal year 2018-2019
Funding: $401,508.60


The Canadian Virtual Hospice provides support and information about palliative and end-of-life care to a variety of stakeholders in Canada, including patients, their families, health professionals, researchers, and educators via their web-based platform. For this project, the Canadian Virtual Hospice worked with Veterans Affairs Canada, grief experts, Veterans and their families to develop a series of online learning modules in both official languages that are tailored to the unique grief experience of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans and retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members and their families.

Project Goals:

The goals of this project were to:

  • Raise awareness of grief-related operational stress injuries (OSI) experienced by Veterans and the supports available;
  • Develop tailored accessible psychosocial tools to support Veterans and active military personnel in managing work-related grief;
  • Provide a learning toll for the specific needs of families of Veterans to improve support;
  • Foster resilience and build healthy coping strategies;
  • Encourage early identification of situations in which Veterans require additional assistance, including professional intervention, in managing work-related grief; and,
  • Prevent future difficulties and exacerbations that may manifest in personal, professional, social, and financial domains.

Project Activities:

The activities for this project included the following items:

  • A knowledge synthesis and environmental scan of national and international studies, program, and services.
  • An Evaluation Framework
  • The development of confidential, online, evidence-informed psycho-educative learning and support modules for Veterans that (1) are grounded in the lived experience of Veterans through key informant interviews, video content and involvement of Veterans on the development team, and (2) support healthy grieving by raising awareness of occupational injury related to grief and providing an opportunity to explore various topics including:
    • Concept of work-related grief
    • Personal grief history
    • Responses to grief
    • Concepts of complicated and traumatic grief
    • Strategies for managing grief
    • Self-care and building resilience
    • When more help may be needed
    • Other available resources
  • A series of video clips (minimum 80) of Veterans and family members sharing experiences of grief and of experts providing guidance.
  • The creation of a module for families of Veterans to assist them in understanding and supporting Veterans with grief trauma related to OSI.

Project Results:

The Canadian Virtual Hospice created evidence-informed content based on the lived experience of former CAF and RCMP members and their families for seven online modules. Veterans and their families were engaged in the process of content development, from planning through to finalizing content. These modules will support the diverse grief needs of Veterans and their families.

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