Mental Health Resources in a Garrison Setting

Health Promotion Courses

Contact Information: Website

Strengthening the Forces, offers Health Promotion programs in:

  • Addictions Awareness and Prevention (Alcohol, Other Drugs, Gambling and Tobacco)
  • Injury Prevention and Active Living
  • Nutritional Wellness
  • Social Wellness (Managing Angry Moments, CF Family Violence Prevention and Awareness)

These are available at your Base/Wing Health Promotion Office.

Chaplain Services

There are Chaplains connected to all bases, ships, units and wings in Canada who can provide support and appropriate referrals.

Chaplaincy Mission: To support and enhance the effectiveness of the CAF as a whole - its leadership, the individual men and women who serve and their families - through the provision of comprehensive religious and spiritual support, advice, and care.

Chaplaincy Vision: To be an operationally relevant Chaplaincy that supports and cares for all CAF personnel and their families, wherever they live and serve, empowering them spiritually and morally to meet the demands of military service.

Canadian Forces Member Assistance Plan (CFMAP)

Contact Information: 1-800-268-7708 | Website

The CFMAP is a voluntary and confidential service, initiated by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to help members (Regular Force, all Reserve Class Members, Cadets) and family members who have personal concerns that affect their personal well-being and/or work performance. Any individual wishing to talk to a professional counsellor or to make an appointment can simply call the Member Assistance Program, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What types of concerns?

  • marital and family
  • interpersonal relations
  • personal and emotional
  • stress and burn-out
  • work-related, including harassment and sexual assault
  • alcohol, drugs and prescription drugs

Any other concerns that affect or could affect personal well-being and/or work performance.

Who offers these services?

The Employee Assistance Services of Health Canada, using professional counsellors, provide these services. With over 20 years of experience, Health Canada continues to assure a professional service of high quality to thousands of public sector employees.

What is the cost of the Member Assistance Program?

The cost of the program is paid for by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). If you need specialized or longer term help, your counsellor will refer you to an appropriate professional resource.

Is the Member Assistance Program confidential?

Yes! The success of such a program is based on its confidentiality. Professional counsellors are bound by their code of ethics to guarantee confidentiality.

Military Family Resource Centres

Link: Website

At each of the Military Family Resource Centres there are mandated services and site specific services. The mandated services are listed below. Site specific services are locally-funded family services, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Military Family Services Program (MFSP), offered at individual C/MFRCs. These services are offered in response to identified and documented community needs. For a list of site specific services please contact your local MFRC.

Mandated services are grouped into four categories.

1. Personal Development and Community Integration: Since mobility is an inherent part of the military lifestyle, the MFSP helps families integrate into their new communities, enhances quality of life, and promotes and supports personal, family and community development.

Mandated service components in this category:

  • Welcome and Community Orientation
  • Information and Referral
  • Employment and Education Assistance
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Second Language Services

2. Child/Youth Development and Parenting Support: Positive parenting and support for the care and development of children and youth contribute to the health and well-being of families and communities. The MFSP supports parents in their care-giving role, and provides opportunities for the healthy development of children and youth.

Mandated service components in this category:

  • Activities and Initiatives for Children and Youth
  • Parent/Caregiver Education and Support
  • Emergency Child Care
  • Emergency Respite Child Care
  • Casual Child Care

3. Family Separation and Reunion: The operational and training requirements of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) often result in the absence of the CAF member from his/her family. Associated increased risk factors for CAF members may heighten family concerns and anxieties. The MFSP provides information, outreach and support to these families.

Mandated service component in this category:

  • Outreach, Information, Support and Assistance to CAF Family Members

4. Prevention, Support and Intervention: Individual and family well-being has a significant impact on military readiness. The emphasis of the MFSP is to strengthen the existing capacity of individuals and families through primary preventive services.

Mandated service components in this category:

  • Education and Prevention
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Assessment and Referral
  • Short-Term Intervention and Crisis Support

Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS)

Contact Information: 1-800-883-6094 | Website

OSISS offers information and support for military personnel, veterans and their families and friends. Among other services, the OSSIS web site will provide information on the Peer and Family Support Network and contact numbers for your geographical area.

Mental Health Services

Information: Website

Base mental health services are divided into three programs:

  1. Psychosocial Services: The Psychosocial Program is available at all CAF medical clinics. Social workers, mental health nurses and addiction counsellors normally staff the program. All CAF personnel may self-refer on a walk-in basis, if in crisis, or be referred by a physician or others, such as a supervisor.
    1. Types of Services: Short-term counseling services which may involve the service member and/or their family. Problems include adjustment difficulties, workplace issues, marriage or other family problems including family violence. Staff is available for crisis response.
  2. General Mental Health Program: Mental Health Programs, which are specialized mental health services, are available at the larger CAF bases. Elements of these programs will be available at smaller bases depending upon population size and local resource availability. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, addictions counselors and Health Services Chaplains normally staff the Mental Health Programs.
    1. Types of Services: Provides assessment, individual and group treatment for those suffering from a broad range of mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, excessive worry, insomnia etc.
  3. Operational and Trauma Stress Support Centres (OTSSC): Mental Health Programs, which are specialized mental health services, are available at the larger CAF bases. Elements of these programs will be available at smaller bases depending upon population size and local resource availability. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, addictions counselors and Health Services Chaplains normally staff the Mental Health Programs.
    1. Types of Services: These centres will provide assistance to serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families dealing with stresses arising from military operations; in particular, UN and NATO deployments abroad. This can cause a myriad of psychosocial, emotional, spiritual and relationship problems. Because these problems are multifaceted, there is a need to address them from a holistic approach, with a multi-disciplinary team of caring professionals.

Addictions Services

Information: Website

Provides assessment and treatment for individuals experiencing dependence or problem usage with alcohol, drugs or other compulsive behaviours. Treatment depending on the need can be either outpatient or inpatient. Service members are offered a one-year follow up post treatment.

At all locations when services are not available within the CAF, service members will be referred to the appropriate civilian resource.

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