NDP leader Mulcair urges Harper to address problem of suicides in the military | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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NDP leader Mulcair urges Harper to address problem of suicides in the military

January 10, 2014 - 3:46 PM

OTTAWA - NDP leader Tom Mulcair has made a direct plea to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to turn his attention to what is behind a number of suspected suicides in Canada's military.

Mulcair has sent a letter to Harper calling on him to "commit to taking urgent action" to properly address the mental health needs of those who serve in the military.

There have been a string of apparent suicides in the past three months including four that occurred within the space of roughly a week.

And this week the husband of a former Canadian soldier who died in a Christmas Day car crash in southern Alberta told CTV that his wife's death was a suicide.

Mulcair's letter to Harper calls on the government to acknowledge there is a crisis.

He also wants Harper to accept responsibility for the fact the status quo isn’t working.

"I urge you to make addressing this issue a personal priority for you as prime minister," said the letter that was made public Friday.

Former soldiers and veterans advocates told two House of Commons committees last month that there are two areas of particular concern.

They said little attention is paid to helping physically wounded soldiers and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder make the transition to civilian life.

And they said the perceived financial uncertainty created by the Harper government's overhaul of veterans benefits is driving some soldiers to the brink.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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