While Veterans Affairs Canada has mental health supports in place, the auditor general says it hasn’t done enough.

“In many cases, the department is not doing enough to facilitate veterans’ timely access to mental health services and benefits,” says Michael Ferguson.

The 2014 report notes that Veterans Affairs Canada needs to do more to overcome the barriers that slow veterans’ access to benefits and services.

These barriers include a complex application process, delays in receiving medical and service records from National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, and long wait times getting access to qualified healthcare professionals in government-funded operational stress injury clinics.

“This means from the first time they first contact Veterans Affairs Canada, about 20% of veterans have to wait eight months before the department gives them the green light to access specialized mental health services,” he explains.

The report comes just a couple of days after the federal government announced it would commit $200 million for new and expanded mental health initiatives for veterans.

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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