Serving Soldiers and Families


This page is designed for you and your families information.  If you have links that you would like to see added here, or up to date contacts of organizations that can help our families cope with the realities of life etc. etc. please let me know and we can make this a better more useful page for all!  Your assistance in these matters would be appreciated.


You and Your Family's Member Assistance Program: Click here

Obviously, you wish to have the best quality of life you possibly can have.  However, a variety of problems can arise which can disrupt your life.  these problems, whether they are professional or personal, can affect your well-being as well as the quality of your work.  In this case , valuable resource is available to you:  the Member Assistance Program.  click on this link for more information: Click here


CALL .....1-800-784-2433

Signals of Suicide:  A person who is suicidal feels trapped, hopeless & Alone.  They feel their only choice is to die by suicide.

Some possible signs are: 

Changes in Behavior - Increased use of alcohol or other drugs; increased or decreased sleeping or eating; decreased self-care.

Hopelessness -  A negative outlook with no positive future. "What's the point?  It won't change."

Changes in Mood -  Crying easily, depressed, frequently agitated/anxious.

Warnings -  Saying "life isn't worth it" or "things would be better if I were gone", jokes, poems and art about suicide.

Preparations for Death -  Saying goodbye, making a will, giving away prized possessions, talking about going away.

Impulsiveness -  Actions without thought of risks or consequences, outburst or aggression.

Previous Attempts -  recent intentional self-harm or suicide attempt.


Talking can help!

Reach out and let them know you care - "Buddy Up";

Ask directly "Are you considering suicide?"

Be a supportive listener, accept their feelings;

Offer Help.  find out who they can talk to - a relative, counselor, teacher, clergy member, doctor or crisis centre.  never promise to keep a suicide plan secret

Take them to help:  a hospital, mental health clinic or suicide prevention counselor, if they cannot assure their own safety.


Seek out help instead of keeping problems to yourself and feeling alone.

- Talk with someone you trust;

- Call your local crisis centre @ 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-SUICIDE.



Your religious denomination/congregation/order is an excellent place to reach out to as it has fellowship (a family group) that should support you!  Someone to talk thing out with and offer you advice and help when needed.

Hebrews 10:25

not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Acts 2:42

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.


Your local General practitioners (Family Doctor) is an excellent resource as he has the ability to refer you to a professional to receive help and he also has other resource information for your local city or town area.





The Guide

There is a guide put out by the Director Casualty Support Management (DCSM) to provide serving and retired Regular and Reserve force members as well as their families with an overview of programs, services and benefits to which they may be entitled in the event of a member becoming ill, injured or deceased while serving in the Canadian Armed forces (CAF) .

The Guide is available on the internet at:

View Guide

The guide does not cover benefits and entitlements usually available upon release from the CAF.  For that information, contact your local Release Section, or in our case the OR.




Ill or injured while deployed on class C Service?

If you are a member of the Reserve force on class “C” service and suffered an illness or injury while on Special Duty Service and are unable to perform your military duty at the completion of your initial contract, then you may be eligible for an extension of Class “C” service to help with your reintegration into the workforce (see page 18 of guide, above link)

No longer able to attend school, or losing income from a part-time job because of illness/injury attributable to military duty?

You may be entitled to Reserve Force Compensation (RFC) (page 19 of guide).  Members of the Reserve’s on Class “A”, “B”, or “C” Service who are incapable of performing duty due to an injury, disease or illness attributable to that service are entitled to RFC when the injury or illness continues beyond the termination of the Class of Reserve service during which it occurred.  If RFC is not applicable, then the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) may be an option (page 57 and 62 of guide).  GECA provides compensation for the loss of earnings, medical care, rehabilitation costs and other related benefits to federal employees injured in the course of their employment or disabled by reasons of an industrial disease due to the nature of their employment.

Concerned about financial benefits for your family in the event of death or disability?

Members of the Reserves who are not eligible for Supplementary Death Benefits (SDB), may be eligible for Death Gratuity (page 55).  The Death Gratuity is provided to the survivor/child/estate of a reserve force member on Class “A” or “B” service who is reported dead, presumed dead or reported missing while on duty.  Please refer to the guide.

Dental coverage for your dependants?

Reserve Dental Care Plan (RDCP) (page 49 of the guide) may be the answer.  The RDCP provides coverage for specific services and supplies that are not covered under a provincial health or dental care plan.




Are you and your family entitled to benefits?

In the event of an illness or injury, various financial benefits are available to facilitate financial support for the members and family.  Next of Kin (NOK) travel benefits (page 34) reimburse travel and living expenses to recognized NOK to facilitate family reunification.  Others, such as Allowances – Loss of Operational allowances (ALOA) (Page 35), ensures the member receives their full benefits if they are repatriated due to operationally-related conditions.  Severance pay (page 43) may also be available to CAF members who transfer or are release form the Regular Force or Primary Reserve, based on years of eligible service and whether they have previously elected to “cash-out” their severance pay.




Curious as to what other pension and disability benefits may be available?

The guide provides additional information related to financial and pension-related benefits.  For example the CRA Disability Tax Credit (page 56) recognized that Canadians with severe disabilities face a higher cost of living.  The disability tax credit reduces the income tax payable to those who qualify.  Similarly, CPP Disability Benefits (page 58), are available to eligible contributors and their dependent children.

Planning to retire or release from the CAF?

If so, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), a suite of programs and services to assist CAF members in transitioning to a civilian life, including some programs available exclusively to medically releasing members.  See the guide….




Can Veteran’s Affairs Canada, the Legion or SISIP offer any additional support?

You Bet!  VAC offers various benefits under the New Charter – Benefits for Members, Veterans and Survivors (page 65) including death benefits, disability awards, vocational rehab, education assistance, VAC assistance services, case management, a rehabilitation program and a Health Benefits Program.  Similarly, the Royal Canadian Legion (page 69) offers representation services, advocacy and benevolent assistance free of charge.  Financial benefits and services are also available through the United National Military – Death and Disability Compensation (page 71) as well as SISIP financial Services (page 72).




CFMAP is a program (page 48) that offers 24/7, year round, confidential, voluntary, short-term counseling to assist with resolving many of today’s stresses at home and in the workplace.  Some of these issues may include marital and family concerns, interpersonal relations, personal and emotional issues, stress and burn-out, alcohol and other substance abuse issues, and work-related issues including harassment.  This program is available to all Regular Force members and their families, as well as Reserve members and their families when the issue is service-related.  This is a confidential service that encourages you to speak freely and focus on getting the help that you and your family need.




The CAF understands the critical importance of a strong peer support network to assist physically ill and injured CAF members.  Build on the belief that no one should be life in isolation while facing a life changing injury or illness, the injured Soldier Network (ISN) links physically ill and injured CAF personnel and offers them the opportunity to received one-on-one peer support when and where they need it (page 15).  Similarly, the Helping Our Peers by Providing Empathy program (HOPE) (page 30) provides peer support assistance to families that are affected by the loss of a loved one.  HOPE matches trained volunteers to bereaved families.




Like any physical wound, Operational Stress Injuries (OSI’s) such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD are very real and have always been a prate of military history.  These invisible wounds that injure the mind and spirit are just as devastating as physical wounds.  The operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS).  Program offers support by listening to those who are suffering, drawing on similar experiences, and providing assistance and guidance using a wealth of professional resources (page 26).  The Joint Speakers Bureau (JSB ) (page 27) has also been developed to inform Canadians through education, to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and to increase understanding and support.


Disability Benefits

View Disability

Survivor and Death Benefits

View Benefits

CFMAP – CF member Assistance Program


DCSM/Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU)




Poison Control Centre:

1-800-567-8911 (24 Hr)

Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre:

1-800-383-3232 (24 HR)

Military Police (MP):  CFB Esquimalt 250-363-4032


Mary Manning Centre (Victoria child Sexual Abuse Society):  Support for children, youth and non-offending family members who have been sexually abused or affected by abuse.  250-385-6111.

Men's Trauma centre:  Psychological, legal and practical support to males (16 yrs+) who suffer from the effects of abuse, assault, and/or exploitation.  250-381-6367.

Pacific Center Family Services Association - Stopping the Violence Program:  Counseling for women or men who have experienced abuse in an intimate relationship and/or who were sexually abused as children.  1-888-478-8357.

Victim Link Help Line:  For victims of family and sexual violence, and all other crimes.  1-800-563-0808.

Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre:  Sexual assault Response Team (SART) for men and women (13 yrs+) who have been assaulted within 72 hours, sexual assault/abuse crisis and infor line,k specialized victims' services, counseling.  250-382-3232.

Women's Transition House Crisis Line:  Support, counseling advocacy, and education for women in abusive relationships and children that witness abuse. 

250-385-6611 (24 hr crisis line).


Adult Addiction community Treatment Services (VIHA):  Support and education groups, counseling, day treatment, assessment, referrals, and consultations with physicians. 


Alcoholics Anonymous Support Line:  Support groups for those who have a desire to stop drinking.


BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service:  Information about and referrals for alcohol and drug use and misuse. 

1-800-663-1441- (24 hr)

LifeRing:  Non-religious self-help groups to promote abstinence to alcohol and other addictive drugs.  1-800-920-2095 or 1-866-920-2095.

Narcotics Anonymous:  Support Line:  Support groups for those who have a desire to stop using drugs.  250-383-3553.

Pacific Centre Family Services Association.  Alcohol and other Drugs Program:  Assessment and treatment for people with substance misuse issues, concurrent disorders, and for those affected by another's substance use.


Program Gambling Help Line:  Information about and referrals for all aspects of problem gambling.


Umbrella Society:  Provides system navigation and support to people who struggle with addictions or concurrent disorders.




BC Seniors Line:  Information regarding BC government programs and services to assist BC seniors.


Family Caregivers' Network Society:  Informs, supports, and educates on issues of concern to family caregivers of adults.


Children and Youth

Help Line for Children:  Help line to report abuse and neglect.

250-310-1234 (24 hr)

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868.

Project Alive:  Support for children and youth are at risk for suicide.


Victoria Child and Youth Mental Health:  Aassessment, treatment and consultation services for mental, emotional or behavioral problems.


Victoria Youth Clinic:  free health care for youth (12 to 24 yrs).


Separation and Divorce

BC Families in Transition:  Information for parents adjusting family separation and/or divorce.


Single Parent resource Centre:  Support and skills training for single parents.



BC Psychological association Referral service:


Citizens Counseling Centre:  A sliding fee scale available days, evenings and weekends.


PCFSA_Affordable Counseling Program:  Support programs and counseling service.



law Centre:  Advice, assistance and representation for clients who can't afford a lawyer.


Law Line/Legal aid:  Free legal aid and advice to qualifying BC residents.


Victim Services (Greater Victoria Police):  Support, assistance, information, and referrals for victims of crime.


Victoria Family Justice Centre:  Assist families with child custody, access, guardianship, and child/spousal support in case of divorce. 


Mental Health

Mental Health Services Centre Pacific, CFB Esquimalt:  Offer the following services Chaplaincy, addictions counseling/treatment, mental health nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work, Out referrals.


BC Bereavement Helpline:  Support, information and referrals for those who are grieving.


BC Mental Health Information Line:  Support or referral for mental health issues. 

250-310-6789 (24 hrs).

Parenting and Family Support

Esquimalt Neighborhood House:  Provides Individual and couples counseling, as well as pre-natal and parenting education


Island family Information:  Offers information about government services, child care, children's programs, education, health, libraries, and community organizations for children's well being.


Living in families Effectively (LIFE)  Seminars:  Educational courses, worships, books and videos for parenting preschoolers, teens and blended families.


Military Family Resource Center (MFRC):  24 hr information services, deployment support, Short-term counseling and crisis response.  Daycare and respite childcare.  Second language services for Francophone families.  Support for families with special needs.

250-363-2640 or 1-800-353-329.

Parent Support Services of BC:  Promotes healthy family relationship by supporting children, parents and others in parenting. 


Positive Parenting Program:  Website provides information about courses on positive parenting techniques and is a great source of parenting resources across the Island.


Credit Counseling Society:  Free credit and budget counseling.



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