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Military, veteran mental health research to get boost worth millions

11/24/2014 12:18 EST | Updated 01/24/2015 05:59 EST
Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans could benefit from a big chunk of cash being announced today by Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and the True Patriot Love Foundation.

CBC News has learned Ambrose's announcement will be about a significant investment by both the federal government and True Patriot Love, an organization that raises funds to support "unique programs and innovative research in the areas of mental health, physical rehabilitation, family support and veteran transition," according to its website.

The money to be announced will go to physical and mental health research and is expected to be in the millions of dollars. It's also expected to be True Patriot Love's single largest investment to date, and will impact more than 1,000 researchers at 35 universities across Canada.

The funds are being directed to the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, which is hosting its national symposium in Toronto this week.

Michael Burns, the co-founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, and Dr. Alice Aiken, director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR), will be with Ambrose for the announcement in Toronto.

Monday's announcement comes one day after the federal government said it will spend $200 million over six years to address mental health issues among members of the Canadian Forces by opening an "Operational Stress Injury" clinic in Halifax along with satellite clinics in eight other cities starting next fall.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino and Justice Minister Peter MacKay made that announcement at the International Security Forum in Halifax on Sunday.

Both funding announcements come on the eve of Tuesday's report by the Auditor General, which includes a chapter on whether Veterans Affairs Canada's has "facilitated timely access" to mental health services for veterans and members of the Canadian Forces.

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