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Record of Discussion – Mental Health Advisory Group Teleconference

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
1300 – 1430 EDT

In Attendance

  • Sapper (Retired) Aaron Bedard
  • Michael Blais, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
  • Louise Bradley, Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Dr. Karen Cohen, Canadian Psychological Association
  • Dave Gallson, Mood Disorders Society of Canada
  • Glynne Hines, Royal Canadian Legion (Co-chair)
  • Colonel Scott McLeod, Deputy Surgeon-General, Canadian Armed Forces
  • Dr. Don Richardson, Canadian Psychiatric Association
  • Ed Mantler, Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Kerry Mould, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping
  • Sergeant Brian Harding

Regrets

  • Warrant Officer (Retired) Brian McKenna
  • Robert Thibeau, Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
  • Dr. Ruth Lanius, University of Western Ontario
  • Dr. Patrick Smith, Canadian Mental Health Association

Observer

  • Amanda Jane, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Centre of Excellence

Members agreed that Dr. Patrick Smith would finalize the report that he produced in September 2016 on behalf of the Mental Health Advisory Group’s Centre of Excellence for Mental Health sub-group. All Mental Health Advisory Group members are asked to review the report. The final report will be approved by the Group at its December 2016 teleconference and it will be provided to the Minister in January 2017.

Veteran Suicide Prevention

Members agreed to establish a sub-group to address the issue of Veteran suicide. The sub-group’s mandate will be to “make recommendations to reduce and prevent Veteran suicide.” This mandate can be changed or refined by the full Mental Health Advisory Group as further information becomes available from Veterans Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence or other credible outside sources. Advisory Group members were invited to volunteer as sub-group lead (chair) or members. It is suggested that three or four Veterans and three or four mental health professionals form this sub-group. Initial work will consist of a document review and teleconference in December or January. The sub-group will consult with the full Mental Health Advisory Group to refine its mandate and agree to a work plan.

Next Meeting

The next Mental Health Advisory Group face-to-face meeting will be held around the end of February, and is likely to be one-and-a-half days in duration. The focus of this session will be suicide prevention and examining areas for further review by the MHAG. This could include follow-on work to be undertaken with respect to the Mental Health Centre of Excellence (recognizing that the report will be in the Minister’s office), military sexual trauma, and other priorities within the Minister’s mandate.

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