Mental Health Resources for Veterans

Are you a veteran or do you know a veteran who needs help?

The challenges facing veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces(CAF) and RCMP members, both while serving and after release have developed through the unique circumstances related to their service to Canada. Many veterans suffering from operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety also experience difficulties with their family relationships, friends, work or transitioning to civilian life.

While the National Association of Federal Retirees cannot provide assistance in the complex area of mental health, we can provide information to veterans, family members or friends of veterans on available services and programs.

Crisis and Support Services

For any emergency or crisis situation, don’t delay - call 911.

The CAF/VAC Assistance Service a 24-hour toll-free helpline that can provide all veterans and their families with short-term confidential, professional counseling and referral services, including support for mental and emotional health concerns. You can reach a mental health professional any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 1-800-268-7708.

Current serving members and their families can contact the Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546 or 1-613-995-5234 to speak to professionally trained counselors seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Families who call the Family Information Line will receive confidential and bilingual short-term counseling, referral to their local Military Family Resource Centres or other community services, or be provided with information about CAF programs and services

The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) Program is a joint CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada(VAC)program.  The OSISS program offers peer support to military veterans and their families who have been impacted by operational stress injuries (OSI). Peer Support Coordinators and Family Peer Support Coordinators are CAF members, veterans or family members, who know first-hand the experience and impact of OSIs. Peer coordinators reach out and provide peer support to those making the first steps in re-establishing a social connection, sharing experiences, listening and supporting. For more information on the OSISS program call toll-free 1-800 883-6094 or find a Peer Support Coordinator in your area.

Helping Our Peers by Providing Empathy (HOPE) provides social support assistance to families that are affected by the loss of a loved one. HOPE matches trained peer volunteers to bereaved families. HOPE assists family members who have lost a loved one who served in the CAF, either serving or released, Regular or Reserve Force. The loss may be attributed to military service or any other cause. HOPE is a complementary program which is not intended to replace other traditional bereavement services. Trained volunteers, who have experienced similar losses, provide support and act as positive role models to help others through their grief and recovery journey.

Soldier On supports serving and released CAF members, Regular and Reserve, with a permanent or chronic, visible or non-visible, illness or injury. Soldier On facilitates and/or supports recreational or sporting activities and provides access to specialized equipment, training and events tailored for the ill and injured. Its training camps provide introductory, intermediate, and advanced activities. Soldier On introductory events emphasize social interaction for its members at local or regional events.  

There are also a number of other organizations providing programs and services to assist veterans: