Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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full-time regular force members % any selected mental or alcohol disorder 16.5 Major depressive episode 8.0 Post traumatic stress disorder 5.3 Generalized anxiety disorder 4.7 Panic disorder 3.4 alcohol abuse or dependence 4.5 Alcohol abuse 2.5 Alcohol dependence 2.0 6 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 S Sit REP rates of selected mental or alcohol disorders in the 12 months prior to the 2013 survey Source: Statistics Canada Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM) and Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) recently underwent a change of command as MGen Paul Wynnyk assumed the dual roles from retiring MGen Christian Rousseau. Wynnyk, former deputy commander of the Canadian Army, has over 30 years of experience, including as both the operations officer and chief of staff of Land Force Western Area. He has also held positions at National Defence Headquarters that include senior defence advisor and director of operations for the Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In addition to fulfilling CFINTCOM's mandate to provide credible, reliable and sustained intelligence services, the CDI is also the chief intelligence advisor to the senior leadership and has functional authority over the other nine departmental organizations that deliver on the defence intelligence mandate, giving him a critical role in coordinating all defence intelligence activities. "MGen Rousseau has greatly advanced the Defence Intelligence func- tion during his time as commander of CFINTCOM. He solidified international partnerships, contributed to international security, stood up the Intelligence Command and institutionalized federated production, in itself a significant landmark for Canadian defence intelligence," said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff in a statement. "MGen Wynnyk is a knowledgeable, expe- rienced and outstanding leader who serves the Canadian Armed Forces with distinction. I am confident in his ability to build on what has already been ac- complished and continue carrying CFINTCOM forward to face the challenges that the future will bring." On a morning when North Americans were talking about mental health disor- ders, especially depression, following the death by suicide of actor and co- median Robin Williams, Statistics Canada released survey results that show about one in six full-time regular members of the Canadian Armed Forces reported experiencing mental health or alcohol-related disorders in the pre- vious 12 months. The Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey, which involved one-on-one interviews with about 6,700 full-time regular forces members and 1,500 reservists between April and August 2013, measured six disorders: major depressive episode, post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety dis- order, panic disorder, and alcohol abuse as well as alcohol dependence. The initial results, which dealt only with full-time members, found that depression was the most prevalent, with eight percent meeting the criteria of experiencing persistent depressed mood or loss of interest in normal ac- tivities, along with other symptoms, for at least two weeks in the 12 months prior to the survey. More than five percent (5.3) experienced symptoms consistent with post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD will be one of a number of topics presented at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Forum on November 24-26 in Toronto.) Almost five percent reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and 3.4 percent showed symptoms consistent with panic disorder. The sur- vey also found alcohol abuse or dependence was significant among 4.5 per- cent of full-time regular force members. Since the Stats Canada survey, conducted in cooperation with National De- fence, released only preliminary raw data, understanding the source of the illness is key, Col. Rakesh Jetly, chief psychiatrist for the Canadian Forces, told the CBC. "I think it's more important to find out what that number means. Are they getting care? If so, how is the care going? Are they at work? Are they ab- sent? What is the quality of life like at home, and so on?" he said. "As we further analyze the data over the next couple of years, we're going to get more of that rich kind of information." Recent media reports have highlighted the struggles of Chief of Military MGen Paul Wynnyk. Photo: VACSTC/Capt Debbie Middleton change in intelligence survey reveals preliminary statistics on mental health Personnel and the Health Services Group to hire sufficient mental health workers, many of whom are in high demand elsewhere in Canada. Though the CAF is now close to meeting its initial targets, the military wants to hire 87 more full-time health services workers to support additional programs and requirements, the CBC reported. A more detailed analysis of the survey, including findings on reservists who served in Afghanistan, will be released this fall.

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