Senior Canadian Military Staff Attempts to Help Soldiers With Suicidal Tendencies

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | December 6, 2013 7:37 PM EST

General Tom Lawson attempts to restrict an alarming trend in the army and published a video where he asked people within his ranks to be aware of their role in maintaining mental health.

Mr Lawson's video on the Web site of the Canadian Forces informed soldiers about their role in staying mentally healthy. His appeal follows four soldiers killing themselves and another one attempting suicide. All five soldiers have previously served in Afghanistan.

Mr Lawson said in the video that it is heart-breaking and painful for the families to lose any of the soldiers. Even though suicide happens to be a concern of public health internationally, it is especially damaging for an organisation like theirs that is built on strength, leadership and camaraderie.

Mr Lawson continued saying that it is essential that every military personnel recognise issues related to mental health as a means of their development, just like any other Canadian. This is important even though there are experts in the Canadian health-care system to help them in the process. He also informed them that the kind of positive impact a person has on another can never be underestimated.

Mr Lawson explained how soldiers should deal with mental obstacles. When any of the soldiers gets injured physically on the battlefield, they are expected to be helped by their colleagues. Just like that, they should also expect assistance when they are in the process of fighting mental illness.

Mr Lawson advised that any soldier who goes through suicidal thoughts must call 911 for assistance available. The member assistance programme is there to help those who have suicidal tendencies. In spite of Mr Lawson's efforts to stand by his colleagues, critics do not believe that the Canadian Forces has done enough to help their soldiers. According to Ontario veteran Mike Cole, soldiers have informed being put on hold when they call. Alternatively, they are blatantly asked to go to the hospital.

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