Mental health education hub launched for youth impacted by operational stress injuries in the family

OTTAWA, ON, June 13, 2023 /CNW/ – For youth who have loved ones who serve or have served in the military and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), posttraumatic stress injury (PTSI) or operational stress injury (OSI) is often a reality they have to deal with due to the nature of their Family members’ work. However, the impact on young family members is often overlooked when looking at the experiences of PTSI among veterans.

To fill the gap around educational resources on PTSI for young people in the military and Veteran Families, the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families has launched a new website, MindKit. cacreated for and by youth who have loved ones who have served in either the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or the RCMP. is filled with youth-friendly tools, strategies and downloadable resources as well as real-life stories from children of Veterans. The website features a webcomic, videos, audio clips, interactive tools and hands-on coping strategies to support youth whose lives have been impacted by their Family member’s mental health injury. All resources were co-created with a youth advisory group and subject matter experts.

Laryssa Lambrock, National Strategic Advisor for Veteran Families at the Atlas Institute, said offers youth a central hub to learn about mental health and what it’s like to live with PTSI in the Family. “Not only is it about recognizing and validating experiences through shared understanding, but the information on this site will also provide youth with different ways to handle challenges.”

Lambrock added that it is important to understand that the mental health of youth can be impacted by their loved ones’ mental health. “In homes where there is an OSI or PTSI, we know that children might take on caregiving roles for their parents or additional household responsibilities such as caring for younger siblings. These added responsibilities can have a cumulative impact on a young person’s well-being. “

Speaking to the impact on youth specifically, Fardous Hosseiny, President and CEO of the Atlas Institute, explained that early intervention and targeted resources can change the trajectory of a youth’s experience. “Research shows that children of parents living with mental health challenges are at risk for a number of emotional, behavioral and social problems and this could affect all areas of their lives. These impacts may manifest in various ways, including being confused, frightened or even angry with their parents or the situation. The children might blame themselves of feeling ashamed of their Family situation.” Hosseiny added that being part of a community that understands their experience will go a long way towards reducing isolation and helping them realize they are not alone. In addition, it is important to reassure young people that supports are available and that their loved one’s injury is not their fault.

To explore the new website and resources, visit


The Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families works with Veterans, Families, service providers and researchers to bridge the divide between research and practice so Veterans and their Families can get the best possible mental health care and supports. The Atlas Institute was originally established as the Center of Excellence on PTSD and Related Mental Health Conditions, through the Minister of Veterans Affairs November 2015 mandate letter, with funding and budget announced in the March 2017 federal budget.


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SOURCE Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families



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