Calian Military Family Doctor Network Expands Footprint
On April 18th, Calian in collaboration with the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre launched its Calian Military Family Doctor Network in Edmonton aimed at improving access for families of serving Canadian Armed Forces members (CAF) to family physicians. The Military Family Doctor Network’s intent is to match physicians practicing at Calian’s Primacy Clinics in Loblaws locations in the Edmonton Area, with military families in need of a family physician. At the time of the launch, four clinics and eight doctors had signed up.
Calian has also begun to offer some limited access in communities in Kingston, Moose Jaw, and New Brunswick based on the availability of physicians within their network.
Military Employment Transition for Spouse Program
The METSpouse program launched in Ottawa on April 1, 2016 aims to assist military spouses in establishing a meaningful career path. This 12-month pilot project undertaken by Military Family Services and Canada Company is available at seven participating Military Family Resource Centres across Canada; Halifax, NS; Montreal, QC; Valcartier, QC; National Capital Region and Toronto, ON; Winnipeg and Shilo, MB. The program is open to spouses of Regular Force members, reservists and veterans.
Recognizing that spousal employment is a major challenge for military families that must relocate every few years, Canada Company and Military Family Services developed a program that aims to create an employer network where partnering employers are aware of the inherent employability of military spouses and explore accommodation for this mobile workforce.
The program is similar to Canada Company’s MET program for military members, and some of the employers include Bell, Belair Direct, CIBC, Walmart, Michaels, GE, TD and more. Since the launch, more than 140 spouses have registered with the program.
Veteran Family Program
The government of Canada, through Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), has invested in a four year pilot project to provide medically-releasing Veterans and their families with access to the Military Family Services Program (MFSP) for two years from the date of release. The MFSP extension of services will also include support from the Family Information Line (FIL) and the FamilyForce Website (www.familyforce.ca)
The extended services can be accessed directly from the seven participating Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) pilot locations: Esquimalt, Edmonton, Shilo, Trenton, North Bay, Valcartier and Halifax. Although dedicated Veteran Family Coordinators are only available at seven sites, all other MFRCs will provide support to ill and injured CAF members and their families as they prepare for release.
For more information on the Veteran Family Program, click here
New family vignettes celebrating the diversity of Canadian military families were launched in 2016. You can view these new vignettes as well as previous ones on our YouTube channel
Caregiver’s Guide Launch with City of Ottawa
On May 3 2016 as part of the national Mental Health Week, the City of Ottawa Public Health (OPH) released a caregiver guidebook. The guide was developed in collaboration with the City of Ottawa, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), the Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) and Military Family Services (MFS) as a national resource for Canadian caregivers of children, youth, adults, and older adults. This mental health resource includes evidenced-based tips, tools, and information that is pertinent to military families.
The City of Ottawa also released a resource guide that lists mental health programs and services that are locally available to families living in the Ottawa region. The OPH guide includes a resource section specific to military families, built in collaboration with MFS.
Road to Mental Readiness
Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) is a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mental health education training package that includes a series of briefings/modules delivered to CAF personnel and their families at various stages throughout their career, including around the deployment cycle.
Families are provided education prior to the deployment and again just prior to the reunion with their loved ones. This information mirrors the education provided to CAF personnel prior to their deployment and reunion. The program improves family members’ ability to manage demanding conditions and enhance their long term well-being.
All Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) received a package containing the recently updated English R2MR training material to be able to deliver the program to CAF families.
Those MFRCs requiring French language materials will be receiving them in May 2016. Military Family Services and Canadian Forces Health Services would like to thank the MFRCs for delivering this critical training to CAF families of deployed personnel to enable a mission-ready force and resilient families.
Clinical Client Management Community of Practice
In January 2016, Military Family Services (MFS) hosted a two day meeting in Ottawa to facilitate a discussion on best practices in clinical client management. More than 18 clinicians, social workers and Family Liaison Officers from 14 different Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) attended the meeting. They rolled up their sleeves and worked collectively to share their expertise and brainstorm best practices in clinical client management to ensure consistency across all MFRCs.
Discussion centered around creating standardized clinical forms that MFRCs can use consistently; ensuring consistent clinical intervention strategy; implementing best practices to ensure clients’ privacy and confidentiality of information; ensuring proper credentials of mental health professional; and brainstorming appropriate tools to measure intervention outcome.
Military Family Services Program Mental Health Services Framework: A Conceptual Overview and Risk Management Tool for Military Family Resource Centres
Months of research, consultation and collaboration with the subject matter experts from Military Family Resource Centers (MFRC), Canadian Forces Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association led to the development of Military Family Services Program (MFSP) Mental Health Services Framework, which was released in early February 2016. The MFSP Mental Health Services Framework provides a conceptual overview of the types of mental health programming available to families.
These services range from outreach and engagement, to peer support and psychoeducation, and to psychosocial services and mental health treatment. The purpose of the Framework is to provide clarity to MFRCs, service providers and other community partners, as well as a common language to discuss industry standards and best practices.
By using the Framework it becomes clear what is involved in each level of service, and consequently what level of qualification is required by the service provider delivering the service. It will also assist in communicating more effectively with families about the different types of support they can access depending on the level of their needs.