About Wounded Warriors Canada
Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) is a Canadian national mental health service provider. (You can learn about the history of WWC by reviewing my fourth post on 5 January 2022.)
WWC’s focus is on providing services for our military personnel, veterans and first responders who have developed an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) as a result of the work that they do to serve and protect us. WWC also provides services for the families to help them understand and cope with their partner or parent who has developed an OSI.
This page is not intended to be an exhaustive description of the many programs that WWC has developed and implemented. For that, you could either visit www.woundedwarriors.ca or review the WWC at a Glance , below. Please note that the WWC website is undergoing some reconstruction. So, as it may be difficult to find what you may be looking for I would again direct you to the WWC at a Glance flyer or contact me and I will help you with any questions.
One thing that I do want to stress here is that WWC has developed and implemented programs to help prepare for OSIs in the workplace and to help those suffering from an OSI as a result of the work they do. WWC has assembled a group of over 100 clinicians nationally who possess the cultural competency necessary to support the unique mental health needs of uniformed service members and their families.
From my perspective, one of the outstanding aspects of the WWC programs is the attention to the families of the those suffering with OSI. Those who struggle with the effects of OSIs, such as PTSD, often feel alone and misunderstood. This can lead to isolation and the exacerbation of their mental health injury. Yet, nobody suffering with an OSI does so in total isolation. Spouses and child, as well as friends and co-workers, also share the burden of the disorder. With this in mind, let’s look at some of these programs:
Spouse/Couple Based Programs
Surviving Spouses’ Program
This first of its kind program has been clinically developed to support Veteran & First Responders Spouses who have lost their partner in the line of duty or from death by suicide. The program assists survivors in exploring the wounds resulting from traumatic loss and guides them to integrate and make meaning of their relationship with their spouse.
Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday (COPE)
The WWC COPE program is Canada’s leading couples-based trauma program for those affected by PTSD. This is a 2 phased program designed specifically to combat the isolation and shame that are inherent aspects of everyday life for families dealing with operational stress issues. The first phase is a 5 day residential program, while the second phase builds on the lessons learned through follow up coaching phone calls for 6 months.
Recently, COPE received international recognition and, through a partnership with NATAL, Israel’s trauma centre for victims of terror and war, has been adopted for couples-based trauma therapy.
Warrior Kids Camp
This program is a particular favourite of mine. Children are often overlooked in the treatment of OSIs in their parents. There is increased awareness of the secondary impact trauma has on children, especially those with a parent diagnosed with an OSI from service related experiences. The Warriors Kids program is grounded in the understanding and responsiveness to the impact of trauma and emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors. It aims to empower children to increase their capacity for developing resilience.
The Warrior Kids program is offered as a two-day camp for kids 8 – 16 or as a six-week virtual program in which the kids receive 1 hour virtual sessions per week.
I would highly recommend that you learn more about this program at Warrior Kids.
K9 Assisted Therapy
PTSD Service Dogs
Since 2012, WWC has contributed over $3M to training and pairing of PTSD Services Dogs benefiting injured Veterans and First Responders. Our funding supports the pairing of approximately 100 Service Dogs annually. Properly trained PTSD Service Dogs can and do change and save lives.