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Canadian Military and Veterans Mental Health Centre of Excellence

Best of March 2015-01This past December the Canadian Armed Forces, in collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada, established the Canadian Military and Veterans Mental Health Centre of Excellence.

The Centre of Excellence, which is under the umbrella of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, promotes a forward-looking perspective in research, education and clinical care.

“With our civilian partners, the Centre of Excellence will strive to continually research and improve preventive measures and clinical care related to mental illness,” said Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, surgeon general, CAF.

The Centre of Excellence, working in partnership with The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health science centres, will gather completed research findings on unique aspects of military and veteran mental health.

The actual research will be conducted by scientists at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research (CIMVHR), and other partners.

The CIMVHR is an innovative organization, facilitating the development of new research, research capacity and effective knowledge translation.

With a network of academic researchers from across Canada CIMVHR centrally co-ordinates 35 Canadian universities who have agreed to work together in addressing the health research requirements of the Canadian military, veterans and their families.

“The research will be conducted for the benefit not only of Canadian Armed Forces members and their families, but all Canadians,” said Bernier.

Late in 2014 at the fifth annual Military and Veteran Health Research Forum, General Dynamics Canada announced a contribution of $500,000 over three years to support the work of CIMVRH.

“The hub for advancements in military, veteran and family health research will be CIMVHR. General Dynamics Canada is joining forces with us, and illustrating their commitment to playing a key role in these efforts,” said Dr. Alice Aiken, director of CIMVHR.

To coincide with the creation of the Canadian Military and Veterans Mental Health Centre of Excellence Colonel Rakesh Jetly, CAF senior psychiatrist and mental health advisor to the Surgeon General, was appointed to serve as the first Chair in Military Mental Health, for a period of three years by the Surgeon General, Brigadier-General Bernier.

As the Chair in Military Mental Health Jetly will participate in research and education activities of the Centre of Excellence and The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, in an effort to find opportunities to advance military-related mental health research.

The ultimate goal of the Canadian Military and Veterans Mental Health Centre of Excellence will be to ensure knowledge gained from all of the leading-edge clinical research gathered from across the country translates rapidly into educational programs, or services like clinical care, that are relevant and useful to the Canadian military personnel, military families and veterans.

General Dynamics Canada is part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. General Dynamics Canada provides technology-based electronic systems, systems integration, and in-service support to defence and public security organizations.

For more information about CIMVHR, please go to (www.cimvhr.ca)

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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