ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

March 2017

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Description of VTN Activities In 2012, the Veterans Transition Network was incorporated as a Canadian charity with the mission of delivering counselling and transition programs to Veterans across Canada at no cost to them. Our program, the Veterans Transition Program (VTP), is a group-based counselling and transition course researched and developed over 18 years at the University of British Columbia. The program was designed by psychologists and physicians to help men and women of the Canadian Forces to overcome barriers to their transition to civilian life. Our program has been developed and evaluated over 18 years of delivery and in-field research, resulting in first-class care for Canada's veterans. Developed specifically for Canadian Veterans, our programs have veterans working co-operatively in groups facilitated by specially- trained counselling psychologists and former program graduates. This peer-driven approach has proved particularly effective as it is anchored in the same team-based principles and initiatives found in military training. The program involves 10 days, 10 hours a day group therapy sessions, consisting of three separate weekends during which the group meets for various exercises and skill development sessions. Their new skills are then utilized in daily life between retreats. Core components of our program include Communication Skills, Career Counselling, as well as PTSD education and management. Techniques such as skills rehearsals, Smart Goals, and strength confrontations involve participants practicing competencies with each other while preparing and planning for the outside world. By the end of the program each participant will have completed roughly 100 hours of personal and group work in a clinically super- vised setting. Future Goals Since our incorporation in 2012 we have raised and delivered over 2.5 million dollars of program services to hundreds of Veterans in 7 provinces from coast to coast. Our mission is to continue to improve the accessibility of the program, with a focus on geography and language. We are currently delivering programs in 7 provinces and we want to expand that to 10. In order to not only expand our services but establish sustainable local care, we are training local psychologists and program coordinators across Canada. This model increases program accessibility while reducing the cost of delivery, and improves the level of mental health care available to Veterans and Service Members in communities across Canada. 10 SHOULDER TO SHOULDER The Veterans Transition Network

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