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Class A reservists that need help

Canadian.Trucker

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Recently I was talking with some of the guys that were in my Platoon overseas.  As we talked more and more I found that some of them were struggling since returning home.  I asked if they had sought help or at least looked into what services could be provided for them, or if I could do it for them to help them.  Some had looked into it, others had actually gone to the closest base and sought medical attention. 

In one particular case after meeting with a social worker one of my guys was told "here is a list of therapists/psychologists in your area and they have reasonable payment plans."

I'm going to be personally digging into this more, but from what I have seen so far the support for our Class A reservists is absolutely deplorable.  If you're not on a contract greater than 180 days or are not RegF then the support given is literally next to nothing unless you're willing to pay for it out of your own pocket.

Why would this even be considered at any level as okay?  Soldiers go overseas and serve, and when they come back they are just forgotten about.  If anyone has any information that they could give I would greatly appreciate it so I can help some of my guys through this difficult time.  I am aware of the OSISS - Peer Support Network system, but I also wanted to try and find out what else there is in the CF medical world.

Thanks.
 

Jarnhamar

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Canadian.Trucker said:
so far the support for our Class A reservists is absolutely deplorable.  If you're not on a contract greater than 180 days or are not RegF then the support given is literally next to nothing unless you're willing to pay for it out of your own pocket.

Why would this even be considered at any level as okay?  Soldiers go overseas and serve, and when they come back they are just forgotten about.

I've found this to be true as well.

My advice is to start a paper trail.  Email your padre and chain of command. That may not solve the problems but people are much less hesitant to write off someones concerns when it leaves a paper trail.

 

dapaterson

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The CF medical system is supposed to provide follow-on care for injuries (physical or other) that occur on deployment, regardless of whether the individual in on class A, B or C following their deployment.

I agree that the issue has to be documented, but contact the local military health clinic and outline that the individual requires treatment from a condition arising from deployment.
 

charlesm

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The best I can say is get the CoC involved. There are more programs than you expect plus you can get discomp pay as well. Both take a lot of work usually by the Adjt, but well worth the effort. Things in the CF tend to work better if you have your CoC support then if you try it on your own!

Every Area/Unit is different, we have a Cas coord every month and this includes those that have signed CF98, injured on courses and those that have found injuries after coming back from tour. We run a welfare program and pick experienced MCpl/WO who people will go and talk to, these people will then start the paperwork to get the member the right help from the right people.

The biggest thing is not to let your soldiers fade away but to engage them in conversation so you know when something is wrong, then get them help.

 

Canadian.Trucker

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He's getting treatment, but it's currently from a doctor that works on the base he went to that simply volunteered their time for free to treat him.

I know of reservists that have treatment that extends beyond their post-deployment leave and is covered, but in this situation the soldier didn't identify the problem right away and is not putting his hand up approximately 1.5 years after his Class C ended.  So this might be why he's not getting immediate help.

I suppose I just feel that anything stemming from a deployment or military service should be taken care of, even if it requires the usual confirmation it is attributable to military service, but simply telling a soldier "you can get help, but you will have to pay for it" doesn't cut the mustard with me.

charlesm said:
The best I can say is get the CoC involved. There are more programs than you expect plus you can get discomp pay as well. Both take a lot of work usually by the Adjt, but well worth the effort. Things in the CF tend to work better if you have your CoC support then if you try it on your own!

Every Area/Unit is different, we have a Cas coord every month and this includes those that have signed CF98, injured on courses and those that have found injuries after coming back from tour. We run a welfare program and pick experienced MCpl/WO who people will go and talk to, these people will then start the paperwork to get the member the right help from the right people.

The biggest thing is not to let your soldiers fade away but to engage them in conversation so you know when something is wrong, then get them help.
I agree and I will be going to his chain of comd on his behalf (although they are already aware of him seeking help, but I don't think the roadblocks he's encountering).  One of the biggest problems is though having a Class A chain of comd as well, they only have limited time and resources.  In the end I think I'll be spearheading some of this myself on his behalf, which I have no issues with as well.  I will admit though that it's hard keeping track of all 44 of my guys and how they're doing so they don't fade away, but I have been trying and will continue to endeavour.
 

Remius

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dapaterson said:
The CF medical system is supposed to provide follow-on care for injuries (physical or other) that occur on deployment, regardless of whether the individual in on class A, B or C following their deployment.

Key word is "supposed to".

I've run into several cases where help was not provided or if it was it took many hoops to jump through to get said help.

The knee jerk reaction to turn away class A types at the Monfort happens very often.  In one case a member was on class B under going medical treatment at the monfort for injuries that occured in Afghanistan, became a public servant and was told the day after that he now had to seek treatment elsewhere because he was no longer class B.

It happens too often and the transition is far from seamless or gradual. 

From some lessons learned.  CoC involvement and support is vital.  Providing class A pay for appointments and travel assistance, having the CoC make some phone calls helps as well.  Dealing with admin problems in a  prompt fashion as well helps mitigate some problems.
 

dapaterson

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I was very careful in my selection of words.

I'll reitreate what other have said.  Engagement of the chain of command is key; pushing back against "No" is crucial.  Document who says what, and push back with names & dates.
 

Gunner98

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Canadian Trucker,

There is new direction from the new Surg Gen and other senior folks that all Reservists are to be treated first for any issue, especially deployment-related mental health issues and then administrative questions like contract type will be worried about later.  If you PM me I may be able to assist.  Getting the message out to the providers and their bosses is an issue that can and will be overcome.
 

Sigs Pig

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Canadian.Trucker said:
Recently I was talking with some of the guys that were in my Platoon overseas.  As we talked more and more I found that some of them were struggling since returning home.  I asked if they had sought help or at least looked into what services could be provided for them, or if I could do it for them to help them.  Some had looked into it, others had actually gone to the closest base and sought medical attention. 

In one particular case after meeting with a social worker one of my guys was told "here is a list of therapists/psychologists in your area and they have reasonable payment plans."

I'm going to be personally digging into this more, but from what I have seen so far the support for our Class A reservists is absolutely deplorable.  If you're not on a contract greater than 180 days or are not RegF then the support given is literally next to nothing unless you're willing to pay for it out of your own pocket.

Why would this even be considered at any level as okay?  Soldiers go overseas and serve, and when they come back they are just forgotten about.  If anyone has any information that they could give I would greatly appreciate it so I can help some of my guys through this difficult time.  I am aware of the OSISS - Peer Support Network system, but I also wanted to try and find out what else there is in the CF medical world.

Thanks.

CT
I believe these are the people the member needs to talk to. They do the coordination with ALL respective groups to help said member.
JPSU  then click on JPSU Regions for his local.

They gave a briefing to us (Reservists) one night and sounded very sincere AND serious on people to come in (or even pass on a name) that may need help.

Hope this helps.
ME
 

George Wallace

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On a slightly related note, our recent AAG had a check of our Needles Books and it seems that the majority of us now need shoots for Whooping Cough.  This is a very recent development  (last couple of months) as I just had my shots up dated this spring.  Do Class A's now have to visit a CF Medical facility or a Family Doctor/Clinic?
 

bridges

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When I was on Class B at a major base in western Canada, I went through a crisis and in desperation called the base padre - I'll never forget his response:  "We don't deal with reservists."  I'll leave his name off here, but I'll never forget that either.

This was almost 20 years ago; I'm glad to hear that changes are afoot:

Simian Turner said:
There is new direction from the new Surg Gen and other senior folks that all Reservists are to be treated first for any issue, especially deployment-related mental health issues and then administrative questions like contract type will be worried about later.  If you PM me I may be able to assist.  Getting the message out to the providers and their bosses is an issue that can and will be overcome.

There's some good advice in this thread thus far, & the offers of help are good to see.  Thanks especially to Canadian.Trucker for noticing this problem and following up on it.  :salute:
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Sigs Pig said:
CT
I believe these are the people the member needs to talk to. They do the coordination with ALL respective groups to help said member.
JPSU  then click on JPSU Regions for his local.

They gave a briefing to us (Reservists) one night and sounded very sincere AND serious on people to come in (or even pass on a name) that may need help.

Hope this helps.
ME
I'll definitely look into this further, but one major downside to the JPSU is that you're transferred into it from your unit.  I say downside because at least in the cases I see with my guys being around their buddies and fellow soldiers is a help and coping mechanism for them, so to pull them away from that would be something they would fight for sure.

George Wallace said:
On a slightly related note, our recent AAG had a check of our Needles Books and it seems that the majority of us now need shoots for Whooping Cough.  This is a very recent development  (last couple of months) as I just had my shots up dated this spring.  Do Class A's now have to visit a CF Medical facility or a Family Doctor/Clinic?
This is something I'm not sure on, but in my experience soldiers on Class A don't receive shots unless it is for operational or tasking requirements.  Others could perhaps confirm or deny this.

bridges said:
When I was on Class B at a major base in western Canada, I went through a crisis and in desperation called the base padre - I'll never forget his response:  "We don't deal with reservists."  I'll leave his name off here, but I'll never forget that either.

This was almost 20 years ago; I'm glad to hear that changes are afoot:

There's some good advice in this thread thus far, & the offers of help are good to see.  Thanks especially to Canadian Trucker for noticing this problem and following up on it.  :salute:
That's exactly the type of mindset I can't stand.  If you're in uniform and need help, something should be provided.  Not to be a dork but we're all in this together.  Afghanistan proved the need for both RegF and PRes soldiers to work together to get the job done.

Changes have and are coming to improve things, but unfortunately the mindset of part time soldiers not having an entitlement lingers on.  It's an uphill battle.  I know there are policies and directives out there to support the Class A soldier, it's just a matter of finding it and pushing that information towards people that don't know.
 

Gunner98

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Simian Turner said:
Canadian Trucker,

There is new direction from the new Surg Gen and other senior folks that all Reservists are to be treated first for any issue, especially deployment-related mental health issues and then administrative questions like contract type will be worried about later.  If you PM me I may be able to assist.  Getting the message out to the providers and their bosses is an issue that can and will be overcome.

I may have over-stated things by saying "treated", let's temper that with "assessed".  If it is a chronic issue and not service-related then you may be told to see your family doctor.  If it is service-related and/or acute then treatment could be recommended.
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Simian Turner said:
I may have over-stated things by saying "treated", let's temper that with "assessed".  If it is a chronic issue and not service-related then you may be told to see your family doctor.  If it is service-related and/or acute then treatment could be recommended.
I agree.  A Class A soldier should not be turned away just because they are part time, at the bare minimum an assessment should be done to see if the injury (physical or mental) is the result of service in the CF.
 

Armymedic

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Simian Turner said:
I may have over-stated things by saying "treated", let's temper that with "assessed".  If it is a chronic issue and not service-related then you may be told to see your family doctor.  If it is service-related and/or acute then treatment could be recommended.

I was  going to comment, but you corrected yourself.

There is a huge difference in the clinical mind what is meant by "treat". Besides, I and most emergency and family practice trained MOs can not cure MH issues, only assess, and for the majority of times, help suppress the symptoms.

 

The Bread Guy

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Rider Pride said:
There is a huge difference in the clinical mind what is meant by "treat". Besides, I and most emergency and family practice trained MOs can not treat MH issues, only asses.
I thought that was more a proctologist's purview  ;)

In all seriousness, here's hoping the folks get the help they need, one way or another.
 

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Canadian.Trucker said:
I'll definitely look into this further, but one major downside to the JPSU is that you're transferred into it from your unit.  I say downside because at least in the cases I see with my guys being around their buddies and fellow soldiers is a help and coping mechanism for them, so to pull them away from that would be something they would fight for sure.

From the briefings I have received from our IPSC, the reservists are only attached posted.  They also encourage a return to work program so the soldier isn't stripped from their military family unless absolutely necessary.  The IPSC provides full time monitoring and knowledge of the medical systems.
 

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Rider Pride said:
I was  going to comment, but you corrected yourself.

There is a huge difference in the clinical mind what is meant by "treat". Besides, I and most emergency and family practice trained MOs can not cure MH issues, only assess, and for the majority of times, help suppress the symptoms.
RP, while I find your posts extremely well written and knowledgeable, in this case I will have to disagree with your assessment of EM and FP Medical Officers' ability to treat MH issues. 

There is a reason that physicians spend a fair amount of their training, both in medical school and Family Medicine residency or Emerg residency, in psychiatry.  Psychiatric issues and illness are common, and most communities are severely lacking in specialist psychiatric specialists.  It falls, therefore, to the family doc to diagnose/treat/manage many patients with a mental health illness/complaint.  If they are lucky enough to have a local psychiatrist or psychologist, then management is done in consultation with the specialist but the primary care physician should not reliquish/abdicate their role in total care for the patient. 

The Surg Gen and existing policy are very clear WRT care to Res F members.  If in doubt, assess and treat first and sort out the med admin later.  As has been noted, this has been recently reinforced, with particular emphasis on the front-line staff who are responsible.
 

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Combat Doc,
I agree with your point that the MD can assess, treat and manage MH in our regular patient population.

My poorly communicated point is while we may be able to help the Class A reservist patient in the short term, we will less likely to help solve the problem or cure the illness in a few visits when long term treatment is often what is required.
 

CombatDoc

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Then we are in complete agreement, Rider Pride.  The bottom line is that the CF is committed to helping all our members, regardless of their TOS.  With Class A reservists who have provincial health coverage, the goal is to transition them to civilian care when available and for many (most?) with OSIs this will involve civilian providers who can provide long-term follow-up and treatment.
 
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