The topic of mental health in the Canadian Forces has been dominating headlines recently thanks to new developments in Ottawa, including the federal government’s announcement to commit $200 million for new and expanded mental health initiatives for the military.
In a CTV news interview, Henick says that while this is good news he cautions that it has to be seen in the context of the $1.1 billion dollars that was unspent over the last seven years.
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, has been criticized by veterans groups for his department’s inability to spend upwards of $1.1 billion dollars of its budget meant for the care and benefits of veterans.
In addition, Veterans Affairs has also come under fire since the release of the Auditor General’s 2014 fall report, tabled Tuesday November 25, 2014. Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report included a chapter on the mental health services for veterans which indicated significant wait-times and barriers for mental-health services and benefits.
Henick talked to CTV news in a second interview about the Auditor General’s report and encouraged the public to continue to demand accountability from Veterans Affairs to spend the money in its budget on mental health services.