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In Canada, there are few dedicated resources and supports for Veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma (MST), their loved ones and the health care providers who work with them.

To raise awareness and respond to this gap, the Atlas Institute has collaborated with Veterans who have been impacted by MST, their Family members and friends, and health care providers to develop a collection of resources designed to improve knowledge about MST and build capacity for support.

These resources are intended to support the healing journeys of people impacted by MST, improve the ability of health care providers to deliver effective care in their clinical practices, offer helpful information and guidance for Family members and friends, and increase general understanding of MST.


The following two resources are designed to help expand awareness of experiences and impacts of MST and the available options for support. They include key facts and definitions, as well as tips and strategies.

Recovering from military sexual trauma: From coping to healing

Recovering from military sexual trauma: The role of peer support


The effects of MST are far-reaching, and friends and Family members can often find themselves in the position of providing support. However, it can be challenging to understand what their loved one is going through, the best ways to talk to them or others about it, and different ways to support them.

As Family members learn about their loved one’s experience(s) and witness the impacts, they can also be affected. For this reason, it is crucial that that they have the necessary knowledge and tools to support their loved ones and to look after themselves too.

The following four resources aim to improve understanding about MST and to offer practical information and guidance to support oneself and others:

Primer for Family and friends

Information on MST and its impacts on Families

Conversation guide

Guidance to start and continue a conversation about MST

Disclosure guide

Tips for disclosing MST to others, including children

Self-care for Family members

Tools for self-care and setting boundaries


Many service providers may be unaware that when military members leave service, their health care services transition from those provided by the Canadian Armed Forces to their local provincial or territorial system. As such, health care providers may be treating a Veteran or Veteran Family member without realizing it, including those who have been impacted by MST.

Knowing that you are providing care to a Veteran impacted by MST can lead to a more sensitized understanding of their care needs and strengthen best practices in supporting them. These resources provide introductory information intended to raise health care providers’ awareness of the unique military and Veteran-specific factors that can affect care for Veterans who have experienced MST, and to suggest ways to enhance care based on this awareness.

Military sexual trauma: A guide for Canadian healthcare providers

Invisible wounds: Clinical practice tips when caring for patients impacted by military sexual trauma


MST resources for impacted people and for health care providers

The resources for people impacted by MST and for health care providers were created by an advisory committee consisting of Veterans impacted by MST and health care providers who work in the military/Veteran context, using a consultation and co-creation approach. Their insights and expertise helped shape the content and creative direction of these resources. The names listed include only the individuals who have provided explicit consent to be presented on the Atlas Institute website.

  • Captain Annalise, CD, ACC
  • Major (Ret’d) Carly Arkell, CD
  • Marguerite E. Samplonius, CD
  • Nicole E. Elliott, Ph.D., C. Psych

MST resources for Family members and friends

The resources for Family members and friends were co-created with an advisory committee of Family members, Veterans and subject matter experts. The members provided valuable input and guidance on the topic areas, content and creative direction of each resource. We’re grateful for their contributions. A complete list of contributors and the suggested citations for these resources can be found here.


Let us know what you think of these resources on military sexual trauma.