TORONTO, Jan. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For many veterans, the battle doesn’t end at home, and none know it better than the Veterans Transition Network, who has been offering specialized mental health care programs to injured veterans who’ve fallen through the cracks for nearly 20 years.

A veteran’s transition back to civilian life is rarely simple. And many of the hundreds of thousands of the men and women who’ve served our country feel that our country’s government has let them down.

If the government thought the reveal of their Pension for Life last month would appease the number of injured veterans seeking parity with the old Pension Act, they would be mistaken. Many veterans think that the plan is a mere shadow of Trudeau’s election promise to reinstate lifelong pensions.

Instead of the previous promise of lifelong pensions for veterans applying for disability assistance after 2006, veterans will have to wait until April 2019 for either one of two payment options which ultimately still result in paying far less than one half of the pre-2006 pension.

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan has said no one will lose money under the new plan. The current offer of the pain and suffering benefits and the income replacement means that a veteran who is 100 per cent disabled — an individual with multiple amputations plus PTSD — will receive more than they would have under the old Pension Act.

However according to Veterans Affairs, 80 per cent of veterans accessing benefits are assessed as being 30 per cent disabled or less. Those whose service-related injuries that are not considered severe enough will make less — much less — than they would have under the Pension Act.

Regardless of their financial support, it’s clear that our Veterans aren’t being provided with sufficient emotional and mental supports. A recent Globe and Mail investigation into veterans who died by suicide after deployment during the Afghanistan mission consistently found mental health care to be delayed and/or ineffective.

Research from the University of British Columbia has shown that the VTN's programs have a nearly 80 per cent reduction in suicidal thoughts, with nearly all veterans who entered the program at a time when they were actively contemplating suicide, report few to no suicidal thoughts or impulses a full 18 months after completing the program.

For further information on the research data of the Veterans Transition Program, contact Dr. Dan Cox at dan.cox@ubc.ca.

Read more about how the VTN has changed veterans’ lives here.

Media Contact
Nesh Pillay
647-745-4224
nesh@presspillay.com

About the Veterans Transition Network: The Veterans Transition Network is the only Canadian charity delivering mental health services to veterans from coast to coast. Founded in 1997 by Dr. Marv Westwood, their mission is to make sure no Canadian veteran is left suffering in isolation. Our programs are backed by 20 years of research and have a 98% successful transition rate, one of the highest in the world. For more information, see vtncanada.org.

About Press Pillay: Press Pillay is a socially-conscious, boutique communications agency based in Toronto. With a team of former journalists, PR professionals and social media gurus, Press Pillay offers their lifestyle tech clients the highest-possible level of digital marketing strategies, branding and content. For more information visit www.presspillay.com.