Money and career anxiety leading to series of soldier suicides, MPs told - InfoNews

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Money and career anxiety leading to series of soldier suicides, MPs told

Mementoes are displayed at the funeral for Warrant Office Michael Robert McNeil at the Truro Armouries in Truro, N.S. on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Former soldiers, veterans advocates and lawmakers wrestled with duelling theories Tuesday about what might be at the heart of a sudden series of suicides this fall among serving members of the Canadian military. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
December 10, 2013 - 12:31 PM

OTTAWA - Former soldiers, veterans advocates and lawmakers were presented with duelling theories about what might be at the heart of a sudden chain of suicides and attempted suicides this fall among serving members of the Canadian military.

Testimony before two Parliamentary committees Tuesday struggled to explain what some say is inexplicable — the tragic, deeply personal decision of someone to end their own life.

Although the Harper government has invested millions of dollars bolstering mental-health services at National Defence, the House of Commons defence committee was told scant attention is paid to helping the mentally and physically wounded transition to civilian life.

The veterans affairs committee also heard that the perceived financial uncertainty created by the government's overhaul of veterans benefits is driving some soldiers to the brink.

At the same time, the head of the country's special forces says it's important to create an atmosphere where troops who struggle with their war experiences feel confident enough to speak up without fear of losing their career.

The debate is taking place against the backdrop of at least four apparent military suicides within a week in different parts of the country.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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