Events

Virtual Chat to focus on resiliency and how it is fostered in the CAF

True Patriot Love will be hosting an engaging online discussion highlighting the resiliency of service members, Veterans, and their families in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The idea came from the True Patriot Love team after seeing how prominently the theme of resiliency surfaced in the For Her Country podcast. The discussion will be moderated by CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme.

More broadly, the Fireside Chat aims to build a connection between the audience and the CAF while showcasing the strength and commitment of those in uniform and the families that support them. The session will also highlight the role of True Patriot Love in funding vital programs and services for those in need within the military community.

Nick Booth, CEO of True Patriot Love Foundation, explained, “Building resiliency is an important skill that can help navigate hardship. Many who serve have successfully managed challenging situations and can offer valuable lessons on developing resiliency and coping through difficulties such as mental illness. As we continue to deal with the pandemic, which can exacerbate pre-existing mental health challenges, this has become an even more important topic, and we hope those who participate in the session will gain valuable insight and learning.”

Booth notes members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) develop several key skills through military service and can offer valuable lessons on cultivating resiliency and coping through difficulties such as mental illness.

Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, when she was a Commander, will be participating in the fire side chat on Oct. 8, 2020. Image courtesy of DND-MDN.

The fireside chat will explore this important theme, focusing on lessons in resiliency from women leaders in the Canadian military. Taking part in the virtual discussion is retired Captain Mary Ann Barber and Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson.

Patterson enrolled in the CAF in 1989 and is currently the Commander of CF Health Services. Having joined the military in 1997, Barber, deployed on several missions in the capacity as a nurse. Having medically released in 2018, she continues to be an advocate for PTSD.

The fireside chat will also feature military spouse Marie Andree Malette, a registered nurse.

“The discussion will touch on resiliency in the Canadian Armed Forces and how it’s fostered within that environment. It will also focus on the panellist’s personal stories of resilience and the associated lessons that can be learned from their experiences,” Booth added.

The Fireside Chat is in honour of Captain (Capt) Nichola Goddard, a strong, resilient female in her own right who became the first Canadian woman soldier to die in combat. The Captain Nichola Goddard Fund, established in her name, benefits programs that support the health and well being of servicewomen, Veteran women, and their families.

Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard was killed in an incident that occurred approximately 24 kilometres west of Kandahar at about 6:55 p.m. Kandahar time (10: 25 a.m. EDT) on 17 May. Captain Goddard was serving with Task Force Afghanistan as part of the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) Battle Group. Captain Goddard was stationed with the1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo, Manitoba. Photo courtesy CAF.

“Captain Nichola Goddard was a brave Artillery Officer and an outstanding leader who was widely acknowledged as being courageous, empathetic, and resilient,” Booth proudly stated.

At the age of 26, while serving in Afghanistan, she lost her life in service and became the first Canadian woman soldier to die in a combat role.

In May, True Patriot Love launched a podcast in honour of Captain Goddard called For Her Country, which features the stories of inspiring women leaders in the CAF.

The series highlights the women’s experiences in uniform and the lessons of resiliency, courage, authenticity, and strength learned throughout their military careers.

“The intention behind our Fireside Chats is to bring to light the service and sacrifices of those who serve, while also delivering valuable, impactful content. With Mental Illness Awareness Week coming up in the first week of October, and the fact that resiliency was a prominent topic in our podcast, the idea to do a Fireside Chat on the subject made a lot of sense,” Nick Booth.

Booth explained, “The Fireside Chat will draw on the topic of resiliency discussed in the podcast, and as part of our ongoing commitment to her legacy, we wanted to hold this online discussion in tribute to her.”

More broadly, the Fireside Chat aims to build a connection between the audience and the CAF while showcasing the strength and commitment of those in uniform and the families that support them. The session will also highlight the role of True Patriot Love in funding vital programs and services for those in need within the military community.

This will be True Patriot Love’s third Fireside Chat this year. The first was for the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and the second was as an addition to our For Her Country podcast.

Booth says the chat idea came into motion as they discussed other pertinent topics to feature.

“The intention behind our Fireside Chats is to bring to light the service and sacrifices of those who serve, while also delivering valuable, impactful content. With Mental Illness Awareness Week coming up in the first week of October, and the fact that resiliency was a prominent topic in our podcast, the idea to do a Fireside Chat on the subject made a lot of sense,” he commented.

The Virtual Fireside Chat is taking place on Thursday, October 8, 2020, at noon EST. It is open to everyone and is free of charge. o register for the event, visit here.

If you register, you’ll have the opportunity to ask a question in advance, which may be answered during the live chat.

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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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