Military veterans set up hotline to help colleagues in distress
BY CHRIS DOUCETTE
FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 2014
TORONTO - A wave of suicides, called “a national tragedy” by a Toronto-area member of Parliament, has prompted a group of veterans to set up a new hotline to help fellow soldiers in crisis.
The vets launched the toll-free help line, 1-855-373-8387, Thursday to provide a support system for current and former military personnel battling post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries.
“Once again, our veterans are stepping up to the plate,” MP Jim Karygiannis, Liberal Veterans Affairs Critic, said Saturday. “They are volunteering to answer telephone calls from their brothers-and-sisters-in-arms who are in crisis.”
The MP for Scarborough-Agincourt helped the group of veterans establish the crisis line independent of the military.
“Losing one soldier or veteran to suicide is one too many,” Karygiannis said. “Losing seven within two months is a national tragedy.”
The seven suicides since the middle of November are all thought to be PTSD-related.
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