A future Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research project will examine how operational stress injuries affect the mental health of spouses and children of Canadian veterans.
The research has the potential to benefit Canadian military families across the country. Participation of families will be key to gathering accurate data.
“When it comes to military families the research we conduct is considered evidence. That evidence is then used to develop new programs – or enhance existing ones. The evidence is also used to make effective health policies and develop treatment plans that really work,” explained Dr. Alice Aiken, director of Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research.
Aiken, a former Canadian Armed Forces ship’s navigator, then physiotherapist is also the spouse of a retired member. She remembers when the institute opened five years ago military families were not part of the equation and were not included in military health discussions. Now, she believes everyone recognizes the value in researching and caring for the family.
“We need this evidence to make the lives of military family members better, and research is evidence. I anticipate we will be reaching out to military families across Canada, asking for their participation and input on upcoming research,” said Aiken.
The Government of Canada recently announced an investment of $25,000 for a new CIMVHR project, to examine the challenges and opportunities for families living with veterans with operational stress injuries such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the new year the CIMVHR is planning to publish their most current evidence in an open-access journal called The Journal for Military Members, Veterans and Families. Aiken hopes military families participate in the published research, and eventually benefit from the work when it is complete.
The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research is an organization that engages existing academic research resources and facilitates the development of new research, research capacity and effective knowledge translation.
The mission of the CIMVHR is to enhance the lives of Canadian military personnel, veterans and their families by harnessing the national capacity for research.
With a network of academic researchers from across Canada, CIMVHR serves as the hub for 34 Canadian universities who have agreed to work together in addressing the health research requirements of the Canadian military, veterans and their families.
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