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Brian Kelly - Published on: September 7, 2018
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Veterans getting help with end-of-career transition
As of April 1, a new Veteran Family Program offered by Military Family Resource Centres across the country will offer information and services to military personnel transitioning to post-service life. This includes a Veteran Family Information Fair at the Brandon Legion on April 10.
Christopher L. Istace / Westman Journal
MARCH 25, 2019
Retired military personnel and those nearing the end of their military career are getting help transitioning to post-service life through various programs provided by the Veteran Family Program offered by Military Family Resource Centres across Canada.
The inaugural Veteran Family Information Fair will be held on April 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 3 at 560, 13th Street. The afternoon session will provide information on services and supports that are available to veterans and their families through Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) and civilian organizations.
“This was a pilot project supporting the medical release of members and their families that offers transition programming, service deliverance and one-on-one support,” said Pamela Hall, Veteran Family Program coordinator at the Shilo MFRC.
“Two years into the program, the funders, Veterans Affairs Canada, conducted a review. The results of the review were extremely positive and, as of April 1, the program was launched into a national substantive program across all 32 MFRCs (Military Family Resource Centres) in the country.”
Program coordinators and Military Family Resource Centre staff have been put in place to help released military members transition to civilian life by providing support programming and services at MFRCs and information on accessible resources in the civilian community.
The pilot project for the Veterans Family Program initiative began in 2015 and included services provided at Shilo and six other Canadian Forces Bases.
Hall said the program, which will be announced as a permanent national service extension for Canadian members of the military at the information fair, is open locally for military personnel from throughout the country.
“People from this area that have been posted somewhere then move back home once done and others that were posted here, settled down, started a family and decided to stay can access the Veterans Family Program (in Shilo),” Hall said. “There’s quite a number of families that fall into these categories living in the Westman region.”
The Veterans Family Program has been developed to meet the needs of medically releasing Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families. The services provided through the 32 MFRCs across Canada include mental health, first aid, veteran community, financial matters for transitioning families, living a full life, and a care for the caregiver guide.
The upcoming information fair will provide veterans and members of their support system – a spouse, children, friends, associates, neighbors or others with close ties to the veteran – with an opportunity to learn about post-service life. Service providers from Shilo, Brandon and locations outside the province will be attending the fair. They include Canadian Armed Forces representatives, health and wellness, finances and recreation.
“We just want to help raise awareness of the services available to help veterans and their families. It’s really progressed even in the past decade. There’s so many resources available to them,” Hall said.
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