Canadians across the country will pause for two minutes at 11 am on November 11 as part of this year's Remembrance Day observance to honour the Canadian military servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty, in efforts dating back to the First World War.

But while the signature red poppy that symbolizes remembrance adorns many a lapel around this time, some may wonder whether there's more they can do to help support surviving Canadian veterans and their families. It's well documented that many soldiers who return from war suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and face difficult challenges in transitioning into a post-combat life.

There are non-profit organizations in Canada that focus on supporting surviving veterans in various ways -- here's a look at the services they offer and how Canadians can help:

General Support: Royal Canadian Legion
Probably the most visible awareness and veteran support campaign is run by the Royal Canadian Legion, the largest veterans organization in the country. Its annual poppy campaign raises funds to support veterans and their families who are in need. The Legion also advocates for veterans rights, provides services and programs for vets and their loved ones, and has the goal of ensuring remembrance for Canada's fallen is always upheld.

How to help: Buy a poppy and make a donation to the Legion's poppy campaign

Mental Heath And PTSD
PTSD can disrupt a person's life and ability to cope, often manifesting in symptoms that include flashbacks and nightmares, anger and aggression, depression and detachment.

PTSD and mental health are increasingly the focus of support efforts for war vets, with organizations such as the PTSD Association -- whose honourary chair is the Honourable Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire -- working to raise awareness and help those suffering to overcome the disorder. MilitaryMinds.ca was founded by Corporal Chris Dupee, and raises awareness about PTSD and funds to help veterans through sales of its apparel and fundraising events.

How to help: Donate to either the PTSD Association or purchase a hoodie or other products from MilitaryMinds.ca

Physical Health
Veterans may also return home with severe physical injuries. Well-known for its key tag campaign, the War Amps Of Canada aims to improve the quality of life of amputees of war and also child amputees, provide education for, raise awareness about and advocate for war amputees, and educate the public about safety and Canada's military history.

Ste. Anne's hospital, located just outside of Montreal, is a unique healthcare facility that caters specifically to war veterans. It provides long-term care, physical rehab and treatment programs, community services, and help for vets suffering from Alzheimer's and other cognitive deficiencies. In Ontario, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto has the largest veteran care facility in Canada, and also offers long-term care and cognitive support for its patients.

How to help: Order key tags from War Amps, or donate to or volunteer at Ste. Anne's hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, or a veteran care facility near you.

Family And Community Support
Families who have lost loved ones from military action have to cope with the devastating loss and find ways to rebuild their lives. For some survivors, the trauma they've endured is too much, and the shock of reintegration too intense, and they become homeless. The Canadian Hero Fund provides educational funding to children or a spouse who have lost their parent or partner. The foundation helps provide tuition, residence and textbooks to the recipient.

Leave The Streets Behind is a project of the Royal Canadian Legion's Ontario branch which aims to help get homeless veterans off the street. A homeless veterans assistance fund has been established, and has helped provide vets with funds for first and last month's rent for housing, furniture and and food.

How to help: Donate $11 to the 11for11.ca Canadian Hero Fund campaign, or donate to the Legion's Joe Sweeney Fund.


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  • A member of the armed forces forms inspects wreaths ahead of a Remembrance Day dawn service at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto, on Sunday November 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • People gather around the war monument during a Remembrance Day ceremony in downtown St. John's, NL, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

  • Veterans salute as they take part in the National Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa Sunday, November 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

  • The Canadian flag is lowered to half mast during a Remembrance Day dawn service at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto, on Sunday November 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks with Hong Kong Veteran Arthur Kenneth Pifher, 91, of Grimsby, Ont., as they take part in a Remembrance Day ceremony at Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong on Sunday, November 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

  • A wreath sits infront of a military gravestone in the National Military cemetary in Ottawa, Friday November 9, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

  • Service medals are seen on Australian retired General Peter Congrove, of NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council Chair, during the Remembrance Day ceremony held at the cenotaph in Sydney on November 11, 2012. Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18) and in memory of those who died or suffered in wars and armed conflicts. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman places a poppy flower on the cenotaph during Remembrance Day in Sydney on November 11, 2012. Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18) and in memory of those who died or suffered in wars and armed conflicts. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Wooden crosses bearing pictures of fallen servicemen and women and messages from their loved ones are planted in a memorial field at Saltwell Park in Gateshead, north-east England, on October 29, 2012 ahead of Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) on November 11. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Wooden crosses bearing pictures of fallen servicemen and women and messages from their loved ones are planted in a memorial field at Saltwell Park in Gateshead, north-east England, on October 29, 2012 ahead of Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) on November 11. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • An Israeli soldier stands in front of a wall of names memorial to fallen soldiers at the Armored Corps memorial, following a ceremony to mark Remembrance Day, or Memorial Day at Latrun Junction, near Jerusalem on April 25, 2012. Remembrance Day is followed immediately by the 61st anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • King Albert II of Belgium salutes during the commemoration of World War I (1914-1918), commonly known as Remembrance Day, at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Brussels, on November 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / BENOIT DOPPAGNE (Photo credit should read BENOIT DOPPAGNE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 11: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meets with New Zealand war veteran Staff Sgt Kirsty Meynell after the Armistice Day Commemoration at the Auckland War Memorial on November 11, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Royal couple are in New Zealand on the last leg of a Diamond Jubilee that takes in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. (Photo by Ross Setford-Pool/Getty Images)

  • A US citizen carries wreath as he walks past walls where 36,286 names of missing are inscribed at the US cemetery and memorial during the Veterans Day memorial in Manila on November 11, 2012. The US cemetery contains the remains of 16,631 Americans who died in the Pacific, China,India, and Burma theaters of war. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 11: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales greets war veterans and members of the public following Armistice Day commemorations at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on November 11, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Royal couple have arrived in New Zealand on the last leg of a Diamond Jubilee that takes in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

  • A US soldier carrying the US national flag stands at attention during the Veteran's Day commemoration at the US cemetery in Manila on November 11, 2012. The US cemetery contains the remains of 16,631 US citizens who died in the Pacific, China, India, and Burma theaters of war. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Chelsea Pensioners march past the Cenotaph during Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall, Central London, on November 11, 2012. Services are held annually across Commonwealth countries during Remembrance Day to commemorate servicemen and women who have fallen in the line of duty since World War I. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FORT WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 11: Servicemen and women join veterans as they attend a remembrance Sunday ceremony at Commando Memorial on November 11, 2012 in Spean Bridge, Scotland. Remembrance Sunday tributes were carried out across the nation to pay respects to all who those who lost their lives in current and past conflicts, including the First and Second World War . (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 11: King Albert II of Belgium meets with war veterans during a tribute to the unknown soldier on November 11, 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)