Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subject: VET


OTTAWA, ON, Jan. 17, 2023 /CNW/ - The Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families is hosting a free, two-part virtual summit on January 27 and 28, 2023 that takes a family-centred approach to addressing the needs of caretakers and loved ones within the Veteran community.

The Atlas Institute recognizes that Veteran Families are more than support systems and as such have needs specific to their own experiences. The summit, Empowering Families through knowledge, community and hope, is open to Families of those who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It will bring together community members and other experts dedicated to providing information, tools and resources about Veteran Family mental health and wellness.

Fardous Hosseiny, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Atlas Institute, believes that the summit is significant because it addresses the specific needs of Veteran Families. "Not only does this provide the validation of their journeys, it underscores the importance of supporting the caregivers in their own right." Hosseiny says that this approach is not an "either or" but a "both and" approach, meaning that it is­­ important to consider the needs of both Veterans and their Families. "While we know Veterans themselves have specific needs, it is important to remember they are also part of a Family unit. By taking the Family and looking independently at their needs, this holistic approach can strengthen that entire Family unit."

Laryssa Lamrock, National Strategic Advisor for Veteran Families at the Atlas Institute echoes the importance of recognizing the Family journey, independent of the Veteran journey. "The experience is different for the person with the operational stress injury (OSI) and for those who love them. The summit will address these unique journeys by exploring mental health topics such as compassion fatigue, impacts on children and effects on relationships, among others," she says. "This summit is an opportunity for participants not only to learn about the important issues distinct to the Family experience, but also to consider how that relates to their own individual experiences."

Additionally, there will be a segment on strategies to support a young person's understanding of a parental OSI, through the lens of different types of families, as well as strategies to support healthy Family communications.

The summit will feature keynote presentations by Guy Dallaire and Kathleen Mills. Dallaire is a member of a multi-generational and high-profile military Family who will share his experiences with intergenerational trauma and strategies for coping. Mills will give a glimpse into the life of a military spouse through the lens of her own experience of an OSI and the resulting impacts on children and relationships.

Lamrock emphasizes the importance of providing support to Veteran Family members. "Families incur their own issues and needs through service, independent of the Veteran or individual with the mental health issue. And, as such, need support in their caregiving roles, as well as for their direct needs. This summit is an opportunity to bring focused attention to the issues and the various ways to address them," she says.

More information, including how to register, can be found at: bit.ly/veteran-family-virtual-summit

SOURCE Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families

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