Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study states that just 11 countries in the world are not involved in conflict of one kind or another. From 2007 onwards, the world has been less peaceful. The internal and external conflicts have been damaging individuals and communities all over. But besides various other scenarios, mental health plays a crucial role in taking away the important people from us, forever.
We are a developed nation and are supposed to be a happy country but incidents like Moncton early in the year and soldiers’ suicides show that we are not completely a happy society, at least not mentally. There are numerous plans and organizations that are working to improve the mental health but still it’s a long way to go before we can ensure that each Canadian has timely access to counsellors, doctors, institutes that will help an individual to prosper and contribute to nation building.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. It can happen to anyone, from soldiers to stay home mums to young kids.
But the Post Trumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) has doubled among our soldiers since 2002 as per a news report published in Globe and Mail recently. The effects of Afghan war are catching up with us at home now. Many of our soldiers and their families are fighting PTSD. Families should be able to recognise the onset of the disorder and organizations working to help soldiers tackle this dreadful mental disease have to be quick to offer solutions. Therefore the need of the hour is awareness about PTSD.
Chris Dupee who has served as an Infantry Soldier with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, Ontario and was deployed in Afghanistan has started an initiative to bring awareness and create an atmosphere where soldiers can talk about their mental health and seek support. www.militaryminds.ca is one such organization working to spread awareness about the disorder and breaking the silence on this issue. But lots of work needs to done at government’s level.
The new conflict zones keep on opening up in the world, currently it is Iraq. Nobody knows what is going to happen next which means we as nation need to be more aware of the mental challenges our soldiers face while fighting for us and the values we as nation are proud of.
Besides signing Trade agreements and working out Treaties, our governments both at Federal and Provincial level should push for plans and facilities for our soldiers, and common people. Public policy on mental health needs to be redefined, revamped and redeployed. We need a definitive strategy on this crucial matter of public interest. Poor mental health is major threat to our prosperity and success as nation. Since the Federal elections are due next year we look forward to seeing mental health of soldiers as an important campaign issue.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – 8 AUGUST
We often hear about political scandals or scams done by leaders in different countries, even we have had our share of scandals. Latest one to hit the headlines is the use of public money by Alberta’s former premier Alison Redford to fund her private travel. Auditor General has termed it to be caused by ‘aura of power’.
What is this ‘aura of power’ and who executes it, and is it for real or imaginary has been a topic of discussion for longest period of time. Social scientists have been writing reams of paper on defining what power is and how it affects the humans–one who wields it and one who is subjected to it. Since the beginning of civilization powerful men and women have exerted their power to get their desires and wishes fulfilled. Rulers of lands far and away have subjected their citizens to unspeakable atrocities for their personal gains and pleasure.
Alison Redford’s reported use of public money for personal and partisan purposes in this age and date, when media and citizens scrutinize every action of the public figure is kind of surprising. How can anyone think to get away with so much of misappropriation of funds? What she and people who bent the rules for her thought?
The AG report also mentions that she was involved in a plan to convert space in a public building into personal living space, referred to as the “sky palace.” If a billionaire was planning a ‘sky palace’ then it would have been okay, billionaires do that; but to have a politician plan to live a life of luxury on public money is frustrating. Even the sincerity of people in her administration who allowed the oversight and let Redford have her way is questionable.
There are consequences of being politician, you are public figure, you are leader, people look up to you for solutions, way forward and guidance but nowhere in the list is corruption, it is not a compulsion but still politicians all over the world are involved in minor or major corruption scandals as if it is part of ‘being- a- politician-package’.
Misappropriating public money for further their personal agenda is abuse of power and betrayal of trust of citizens. Politicians are there to serve people with honesty and diligently, they are supposed to protect and work towards growing our wealth not embezzle it. The probe in Alison’s case will take its course but it reminds of an old saying, ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.