• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

More than 6,700 veterans from Afghan war receiving federal assistance for PTSD

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
28,285
Points
1,160
More than 6,700 veterans from Afghan war receiving federal assistance for PTSD

Newly revealed figures show the number of veterans from the war in Afghanistan receiving federal support for mental-health conditions nearly doubled between March 2014 and March 2018.

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/national/more-than-6-700-veterans-from-afghan-war-receiving-federal-assistance-for-ptsd-1.23798329
 
I don't for a second want it to sound like I'm minimizing the issues at play here but I do wonder sometimes how much of the issue is influenced by both the public service nature of the job and the youth of the members.

When I went to work at NDHQ for three years back in 2006, I was gobsmacked by how many individuals in my relatively small sphere of contacts had key workers/leaders out on stress leave or were taking sick leave. It far exceeded what I was used to in my civilian business environment.

When I read your article I went to search for the statistics on individuals in the PS who were on stress leave and couldn't find any but did run across several articles in the nature of the fact that the PS generally takes far more sick days than the civilian sector and that young workers in particular (and those earning lower wages) were more likely to suffer from work related stress.

See for example:

https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/public-sector-workers-took-a-record-number-of-sick-days-last-year/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4138006/stress-causes-today/

While I don't for a minute doubt that there are many of our veterans have PTSD from actual traumatic events in Afghanistan, I do wonder how much of the rise in statistics is related to non-traumatic related stress events/situations which mirror what is happening amongst younger civilian workers and the PS sector. Are we as a society becoming less resilient? Are we living in a society where even day-to-day stressors are more than a significant number of us can cope with?

:dunno:
 
FJAG said:
Are we as a society becoming less resilient? Are we living in a society where even day-to-day stressors are more than a significant number of us can cope with?

I don't know. But, at our pensioner luncheons ( municipal PS ) the Chiefs tell us that PTSD claims have "taken off like wildfire".

 
That's happening with fire departments as well, apparently.  Do self employed people go on stress leave??
 
mariomike said:
I don't know. But, at our pensioner luncheons ( municipal PS ) the Chiefs tell us that PTSD claims have "taken off like wildfire".

Ontario passed legislation a few years ago that established presumptive causality for first responders diagnosed with PTSD. Police, Fire, or EMS diagnosed with PTSD are presumed to be work related for purposes of workers’ comp unless otherwise proven. That has had a significant impact, including a backlog of years’ worth of suffering individuals finally coming out of the woodwork and seeking help.
 
Cloud Cover said:
Do self employed people go on stress leave??

Only those who can afford it.  :)

Brihard said:
Ontario passed legislation a few years ago that established presumptive causality for first responders diagnosed with PTSD. Police, Fire, or EMS diagnosed with PTSD are presumed to be work related for purposes of workers’ comp unless otherwise proven. That has had a significant impact, including a backlog of years’ worth of suffering individuals finally coming out of the woodwork and seeking help.

On April 5th, 2016, the Ontario government passed Bill 163: "Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016"
https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-41/session-1/bill-163

As a "former Ontario first responder", the highlighted part caught my eye,

"For former first responders the statutory presumption will apply, provided that they worked in an occupation covered by the legislation within the 24 month period before the legislation came into force, , and provided that the PTSD is diagnosed within 2 years before or after the legislation comes into force."

I retired on 31 May, 2009. Just shy of 37 years. Never made a PTSD claim. Nobody did, back then.

From what our chiefs tell us, they have received an avalanche of claims since the legislation kicked in. 

It was nice of them to pass the Act. But, it's only for today's generation.

The City now even has paid Stress Leave on demand for paramedics written into the collective agreement.

 
Cloud Cover said:
That's happening with fire departments as well, apparently.  Do self employed people go on stress leave??

If we do we generally go out of business, which is stressful, so we don't :)
 
I used to hate December what with getting all your billings up to date and chasing down your accounts receivable. Took a lot of the fun out of Christmas. (Not that much fun for clients either)

On the other hand not getting your billings up to date and getting your accounts receivable in was really stressful.

:coffee:
 
Brihard said:
That has had a significant impact, including a backlog of years’ worth of suffering individuals finally coming out of the woodwork and seeking help.

And new jobs with the City,

Employees who are placed in a permanent alternate position, due to an occupational injury/illness (as defined by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), will be subject to the normal assessment period and will receive the wage rate of the position to which they are assigned. If the pre-injury rate of pay is higher than the relocated position rate, then the pre-injury rate is to be maintained. It is understood that the pre-injury rate is subject to all wage increases negotiated.




 
FJAG said:
While I don't for a minute doubt that there are many of our veterans have PTSD from actual traumatic events in Afghanistan, I do wonder how much of the rise in statistics is related to non-traumatic related stress events/situations which mirror what is happening amongst younger civilian workers and the PS sector. Are we as a society becoming less resilient? Are we living in a society where even day-to-day stressors are more than a significant number of us can cope with?

:dunno:

Good question. I asked myself that very question not too long ago after dealing with a few cases.  In all those cases the members were under 25, no deployments but were all requiring time off and away.

Things that made me wonder:

Is it really a generational resilience thing or have mental health issues become more acceptable by this current generation and that getting help is not seen as a stigma as it once was and still is for older generations?

Is the rise in mental health cases a result of it becoming more understood and brought to light?  As opposed to something that was previously hidden but likely just as prevalent?  The post war years saw my grandfather try to take his life three times as a result of his war time experiences.

I am convinced that maybe some mental health issues have always been a thing but were misunderstood and swept under the rug.  The problem is that some of the things that helped in the past like strong social interactions, large extended families and actual live communication are no longer the norm.  Internet, electronics and a lack of physical connections may be things that are not helping.

Like you:  :dunno:     
 
FJAG said:
I don't for a second want it to sound like I'm minimizing the issues at play here but I do wonder sometimes how much of the issue is influenced by both the public service nature of the job and the youth of the members.

When I went to work at NDHQ for three years back in 2006, I was gobsmacked by how many individuals in my relatively small sphere of contacts had key workers/leaders out on stress leave or were taking sick leave. It far exceeded what I was used to in my civilian business environment.

When I read your article I went to search for the statistics on individuals in the PS who were on stress leave and couldn't find any but did run across several articles in the nature of the fact that the PS generally takes far more sick days than the civilian sector and that young workers in particular (and those earning lower wages) were more likely to suffer from work related stress.

See for example:

https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/public-sector-workers-took-a-record-number-of-sick-days-last-year/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4138006/stress-causes-today/

While I don't for a minute doubt that there are many of our veterans have PTSD from actual traumatic events in Afghanistan, I do wonder how much of the rise in statistics is related to non-traumatic related stress events/situations which mirror what is happening amongst younger civilian workers and the PS sector. Are we as a society becoming less resilient? Are we living in a society where even day-to-day stressors are more than a significant number of us can cope with?

:dunno:

From what I saw while on loan to another department in Ottawa they seem to do a good job in bringing in people for an entry level job and then slowly loading them up with work. If they show a reasonable amount of competence, they then continually load them up until they are working late, taking work home, and getting calls on the weekend.

Took a few of them aside to talk about getting a work life balance as they were being completely burned out, and it was to make a few executives look good (by promising to do the impossible in a short turn around).  For a few tasks where I would have expected them to have a team of three or four experienced people working full time for a few months, they tagged one or two juniour people and gave them a week or two. It was pretty crazy.

Personally think it's a result of under resourced departments being poorly managed, and taking advantage of keen new people that don't know how to say no, and genuinely want to do something to contribute to the well being of Canadians. Crazy deadlines, unrealistic expectations and power-hungry bureaucratic Napoleons are running them ragged, and add in fun stuff like not being paid because of Phoenix, and you had some complete stress bags running in the red all the time and eventually fall apart.

Also curious how much something like blackberries contribute to it; not too long ago, when you were out of the office, you were out of the office. If something came up, you get called back in, but that was for genuine issues. Now people are on electronic tethers, and are expected to answer the most mundane of BS at all hours of the day.  Great to have flexible work options, but I think it leads managers to take advantage of people and not respect down time.
 
Navy_Pete said:
Also curious how much something like blackberries contribute to it; not too long ago, when you were out of the office, you were out of the office. If something came up, you get called back in, but that was for genuine issues. Now people are on electronic tethers, and are expected to answer the most mundane of BS at all hours of the day.  Great to have flexible work options, but I think it leads managers to take advantage of people and not respect down time.

Good observation.  The same holds true for kids and bullying.  It used to be you saw your bully at school.  When you went home or away for the summer you could be in a safe space.  Now with texting and social media it can be a constant barrage regardless of where you are. 
 
Navy_Pete said:
Now people are on electronic tethers, and are expected to answer the most mundane of BS at all hours of the day. 

I used to love getting called at home. It was usually to answer a few questions about a job they had sent us on.

That paid four hours OT at time and a half. Not for coming to work, just for answering the phone.  :)


 
I know its non-welcome statement, but I know more than a few people whose PTSD claims are questionable at best. 

Its very difficult to medically determine if one is inflicted with PTSD ?  How is that diagnosis reached ?

Is there any fact checking to claims and incidents ? 

Not trying to be unsupportive to those who truly deal with the affliction, but ask most serving members and I bet they can probably tell of you of a couple of people who have made claims that are weak at best to straight out lies at worst. 



 
FJAG said:
I don't for a second want it to sound like I'm minimizing the issues at play here but I do wonder sometimes how much of the issue is influenced by both the public service nature of the job and the youth of the members.

When I went to work at NDHQ for three years back in 2006, I was gobsmacked by how many individuals in my relatively small sphere of contacts had key workers/leaders out on stress leave or were taking sick leave. It far exceeded what I was used to in my civilian business environment.

When I read your article I went to search for the statistics on individuals in the PS who were on stress leave and couldn't find any but did run across several articles in the nature of the fact that the PS generally takes far more sick days than the civilian sector and that young workers in particular (and those earning lower wages) were more likely to suffer from work related stress.

See for example:

https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/public-sector-workers-took-a-record-number-of-sick-days-last-year/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4138006/stress-causes-today/

While I don't for a minute doubt that there are many of our veterans have PTSD from actual traumatic events in Afghanistan, I do wonder how much of the rise in statistics is related to non-traumatic related stress events/situations which mirror what is happening amongst younger civilian workers and the PS sector. Are we as a society becoming less resilient? Are we living in a society where even day-to-day stressors are more than a significant number of us can cope with?

:dunno:

I would be curious to see the number of claims related to a specific trauma vs. generalized stress. PTSD is the disorder with the press and funding behind it, so if you are suffering any mental health problems related to service overseas, that is what you want to claim. It is a lot harder to claim the stress from being away from your family for 6 month, in an environment that is stressful by its very nature, while dealing with a boss who treats you like shit, so you figure out away to claim PTSD. Also, it is more acceptable (in the military) to have PTSD than it is to have depression or another more general type of stress related mental health issue.

This isn't to diminish the issues those people deal with, I have lived with depression for years. Sometimes you have to play the system to get the benefits you need. We had to do the same thing to get my son benefits. He has a genetic disorder no one has heard about so getting funding was like pulling teeth. As soon as we got Autism as a secondary diagnosis, all of a sudden programs opened up for us.
 
Halifax Tar said:
I know its non-welcome statement, but I know more than a few people whose PTSD claims are questionable at best. 

Its very difficult to medically determine if one is inflicted with PTSD ?  How is that diagnosis reached ?

Is there any fact checking to claims and incidents ? 

Not trying to be unsupportive to those who truly deal with the affliction, but ask most serving members and I bet they can probably tell of you of a couple of people who have made claims that are weak at best to straight out lies at worst.

I would argue that you can have a certain percentage of any population that will try to scam any system.

Before PTSD it might have been "sore" backs and "sore necks"  difficult to diagnose and prove but some people would fake it to get off work or go on disability.  Same for insurance scams etc etc.

When money and paid time off are a factor, you will always have those that try to scam the system.  I don't think it is a new phenomenon. 
 
Remius said:
I would argue that you can have a certain percentage of any population that will try to scam any system.

Before PTSD it might have been "sore" backs and "sore necks"  difficult to diagnose and prove but some people would fake it to get off work or go on disability.  Same for insurance scams etc etc.

When money and paid time off are a factor, you will always have those that try to scam the system.  I don't think it is a new phenomenon.

No doubt in my mind.  NATO Knee has been a long standing RCN affliction. ;)
 
Remius said:
I would argue that you can have a certain percentage of any population that will try to scam any system.

I'm curious why a lot of the feedback here is "oh that number is way too high, must be scammers". Couldn't it in fact be that the war actually took a toll on people? This isn't anything new, PTSD is just a different name for "shell shock" etc from the 1st World War. The advent of mechanized/modern warfare is just something our slightly evolved primate brains aren't just able to cope with well.

 
Kokanee said:
Couldn't it in fact be that the war actually took a toll on people? This isn't anything new, PTSD is just a different name for "shell shock" etc from the 1st World War.

Nobody here is arguing that part.
 
Kokanee said:
I'm curious why a lot of the feedback here is "oh that number is way too high, must be scammers". Couldn't it in fact be that the war actually took a toll on people? This isn't anything new, PTSD is just a different name for "shell shock" etc from the 1st World War. The advent of mechanized/modern warfare is just something our slightly evolved primate brains aren't just able to cope with well.

I hardly think my post amounts to allot.

Having said that, if one can claim "shell shock" (your words) after never hearing a shot in anger, I fear that we have become to weak a society.
 
Back
Top