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Stéphane Legendre, R.I.P: CF looking into psych help waits @ Valcartier

The Bread Guy

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Problem:
An army mother whose son committed suicide after his third tour in Afghanistan said her son did not get the help he needed in time. A coroner's report (PDF shared by CBC) found 35-year-old Stéphane Legendre killed himself by overdosing on acetaminophen, a month after complaining that he had not been able to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. Legendre returned early from Afghanistan in 2009 because his father was dying. He was diagnosed with depression a month later. Legendre's mother, Camille Martel, said staff at the Valcartier Health Centre should have known her son was in trouble. The centre classified Legendre as a "priority" three weeks after he complained that he had not yet received help ....
CBC.ca, 21 Nov 11

Start of solution:
The Canadian Forces said Thursday it will review wait times for soldiers seeking psychological help at the Valcartier, Que., military base after a coroner's report into the suicide of a depressed Quebec soldier suggested the delays seem "quite long." .... Commodore Hans Jung, surgeon-general for the Canadian Forces, said Thursday that he doesn't know what the wait time was like when Legendre took his own life in 2009. But he acknowledged that the Valcartier centre has been facing a spike in demands for mental health services notably because of the mission in Afghanistan. Soldiers are requested to undergo a post-deployment screening process within six months of returning from a mission. "We are in discussion to see whether or not more resources are required and to what extent," Jung said in an interview. "If they need more resources, then they'll be getting it." ....
Postmedia News, 24 Nov 11
 

HItorMiss

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Very much so Jim, there is a spike of things happening but I am sure you're aware
 

OldSolduer

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BulletMagnet said:
Very much so Jim, there is a spike of things happening but I am sure you're aware
That's the problem - we're not always aware. We often hear things through the grapevine, or from people who know the real story - which is markedly different from the media story.
 

The Bread Guy

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milnews.ca said:
Problem:CBC.ca, 21 Nov 11

Start of solution:Postmedia News, 24 Nov 11
Comments from the CF's Surgeon General on the second piece:
I would like to clarify the Canadian Forces’ mental-health wait times.

As surgeon general for the Canadian Forces, I am responsible for the health system charged with providing care to Forces members everywhere we serve. While no system is perfect and we are always striving to improve, we take pride in providing Canadian Forces members high-quality care at home and on operations around the world.

Over the years, the Canadian Forces have implemented a robust interdisciplinary mental-health-care system that has been recognized as one of the best in Canada and in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Our system includes 26 mental-health clinics, seven specialized Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centres (including one in Valcartier), hundreds of primary-care physicians providing mental-health care, and 379 specialized mental-health practitioners (the highest per-capita ratio of all NATO nations).

The timing for an initial specialist mental-health-care appointment depends on whether a case is emergent, urgent or routine. In emergency situations, patients are accommodated the same day through the base clinic or civilian emergency care. If a case is urgent, the patient is seen within two weeks. And if the case is routine, the target is for the patient to see a specialist within 30 days.

Canadian Forces interdisciplinary mental-health teams are comprised of primary-care providers (i.e. family physicians), mental-health nurses, social workers, mental-health chaplains, psychologists and psychiatrists. When patients wait for psychologist or psychiatrist appointments, other mental-health team members provide the immediate support they need. The Canadian Forces Health Services continuously reviews wait times for all specialist appointments and strives to provide high-quality health care to all patients. Canadian Forces members can also always obtain help through the CF Member Assistance Program (1-800-268-7708) – a confidential telephone counselling service for CF personnel and their families that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Commodore Hans Jung
Surgeon General
Canadian Forces
Ottawa
Letter to the editor, Postmedia News, 1 Dec 11
 

Wookilar

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Now, the only problem with all that is that the good Commodore makes it sound like we've had those numbers for years. Many of those aforementioned health care practitioners have only been on board inside the last 18 months.

He's not "clarifying" he's deflecting.

Wook
 

PMedMoe

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I'd say it's been a little more than 18 months.  I was in Ottawa when they underwent their most recent accreditation (early '09) and the accreditation team said Ottawa had one of the best mental health set ups they've ever seen (military and civilian).  That's got to count for something.  Not to mention, I think there's more referrals to civilians.

IMO, some of the issue may be that personnel are either not coming forward or not divulging enough info to indicate the seriousness of their problem(s).
 

OldSolduer

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PMedMoe said:
IMO, some of the issue may be that personnel are either not coming forward or not divulging enough info to indicate the seriousness of their problem(s).

That is true enough. Good point.

 
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