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Highlighting Mental Health Week 2024: Supporting Veteran and Veteran Family well-being

This year, Mental Health Week takes place from May 6 to 12, 2024 in Canada. This year’s theme is “A Call to be Kind” and is centred on the healing powers of compassion, which has an important role in how we connect to others and support each other through difficult times. Veterans and Veteran Family members are the perfect example of how compassion brings a community together as they support each other through the thick and thin of a life of service.

This week, we will be highlighting different mental health initiatives from our teams at the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families and our work to provide access to safe, meaningful resources and supports that protect dignity and identity, create foundations for hope, connection and community, and improve mental health and well-being.

Check out some of the mental health resources and projects the various portfolios at Atlas have been involved in.


To help mental health care and peer support providers and organizations better serve Veterans and their Families, Atlas offers evidence-based implementation resources and training opportunities.

  • Introduction to trauma-exposed professionals: An online course developed to increase health care providers’ understanding of the unique cultural differences experienced by trauma-exposed professionals such as Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and public safety personnel (PSP).
  • What is implementation?: Learn more about implementation and how it integrates research and practice with the goal of improving outcomes for Canadian Veterans and their Families.

Knowledge Mobilization

Making knowledge more accessible, available and usable is a key part of building awareness and understanding of issues relating to the mental health and well-being of Veterans and their Families. The Atlas Knowledge Mobilization portfolio works with members of the community to create tools and resources for Veterans and their Families to support their own mental health, as well as information to help service providers better care for the Veteran community.

  • Suicide prevention resources: Research suggests that Veterans are disproportionately affected by suicide. This suite of suicide prevention resources, created for and by Veterans and their Families, includes two practical toolkits, a conversation guide with an accompanying wallet card, and quick facts, statistics and additional resources related to suicide prevention.
  • MindKit: A mental health resource for young Family members of Veterans impacted by a posttraumatic stress injury (PTSI). Featuring youth-friendly tools, strategies and downloadable resources to cope with PTSI and other mental health challenges in the Family.
  • Military sexual trauma resources: Military sexual trauma (MST) describes the psychological, physical and social “wounds” that people may feel after experiencing or witnessing sexual and gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence. These resources include tips and strategies to support people impacted by MST and introductory information for health care providers on the unique military and Veteran-specific factors that can affect care for those who have experienced MST. More resources focusing on supporting Family members of impacted Veterans will be added soon.

Lived Experience

Everything at Atlas is shaped by lived experience in one way or another. Our Lived Experience portfolio, which is made up of Veterans and Veteran Family members, helps guide each project to ensure that our work is accurate and culturally relevant to the community. The team also works to amplify the voices and experiences of Veterans and Family members from across the country.

  • Veteran Family Virtual Summit 2025: Save the date! The third annual Veteran Family Virtual Summit will take place January 23 – 24, 2025. Join us for a meaningful conversation dedicated to sharing information, resources and inspiration about Veteran Family mental health and well-being.
  • Digital stories: Join us on June 26, 2024 for a screening of our newest digital stories. Created by CAF and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Veterans and Family members from across Canada, they share a thread of recovery and resilience.
  • Mind Beyond the Mission podcast: Join Brian McKenna and Laryssa Lamrock as they have authentic conversations about the real issues experienced by Veterans and Veteran Family members living with mental health injuries.
  • Perspectives blog: Hear from people with lived experience on a variety of topics related to Veteran and Veteran Family mental health.
    Are you a Veteran or Family member with a story to tell? Get in touch with us and you may be featured!

Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement

Atlas is just one part of a wide-ranging, extended network of organizations collaborating to serve a common purpose of improving mental health services for Veterans and their Families. Together, we seek to increase knowledge creation, sharing and collaboration.

  • Engaging with Veterans and Families: Creating a new approach to collaboration: This engagement framework aims to improve our shared understanding of how Veterans and Veteran Families prefer to be engaged in research and participate in knowledge development projects and initiatives.
  • Public policy engagement process report: Discover the highlights from the Atlas Institute’s engagement with organizations in the health, mental health, and Veteran and Family public policy space, including insights on practices that make for effective public policy work and priority areas identified for public policy related to Veterans and their Families.
  • National Collaborative on PTSD and Related Mental Health Conditions: The Collaborative serves to facilitate knowledge sharing about and enhance our collective understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health conditions, making use of the extensive expertise available across Canada.


Atlas undertakes and supports research that seeks to improve the well-being of Veterans and their Families. Research projects are designed to answer the questions that matter to Veterans and their Families. Participation in research projects from Veterans and Veteran Family members is important to inform the culturally sensitive delivery of treatments, programs and services.