Veteran Family members deserve to put themselves first and take care of themselves. A special two-day event dedicated to their mental health and well-being!
On January 27 and 28, 2023, the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families is hosting a free, two-part virtual summit, “Empowering Families through knowledge, community and hope,” dedicated to sharing information, resources, and inspiration about Veteran Family mental health.
Sessions feature presentations from service providers
These sessions will feature presentations from service providers, researchers, and people with lived experience who will share their knowledge and insights on issues of critical importance to the Families of those who have served with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
It can be challenging for Family members of CAF Veterans and former members of the RCMP to know how best to care for loved ones living with post-traumatic or a similar stress injury.
Supports and resources can help Family members cope
A Family member may not have witnessed the traumatizing events their loved one has lived through, but they often experience the consequences. As a result, they may feel isolated, misunderstood, lost, and stressed in their own right. Supports and resources can help Family members to cope.
Polly Maher, the spouse of a Veteran living with PTSD and Lived Experience Lead for Families at the Atlas Institute, believes that Family members should prioritize their own needs to maintain a healthy balance in helping their loved ones.
Family members should prioritize their own needs
“We must take care of ourselves first, or we are no help to our loved ones,” says Polly. “Educating myself was a key to helping me understand and accept the reality I was living. Reaching out and utilizing the resources offered to me was my lifeline. It saved me and my relationship.”
Keeping the home fires burning during service and beyond can have implications for Family members. As the spouse of a CAF Veteran living with PTSD and a mother supporting four children impacted by an operational stress injury (OSI), Laryssa Lamrock, National Strategic Advisor for Families at the Atlas Institute, encourages Family members to educate themselves and seek out resources whenever needed.
Consistent support can impact Family members
“Family members are often the constant, between appointments, on difficult days, during day-to-day challenges. Providing consistent support can impact them in their own right, and that leads to their own mental health and wellness challenges,” shares Laryssa.
Through this event, she hopes that community members can reach out and connect because it can make the journey a little easier. In addition, the summit is a unique opportunity for participants to learn and share their experiences with topics including compassion fatigue, resiliency, and the impacts of an OSI on children and relationships.
Join the conversation here.
Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families
About Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families: Formerly the Centre of Excellence on PTSD and Related Mental Health Conditions, the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families works with Veterans, Families, service providers and researchers to identify the best possible mental health care and supports for those who have given so much to Canada. Learn more about us at www.atlasveterans.ca.