ESQUIMALT, BC /CNW/ – Wounded Warriors Canada is proud to announce the launch of COPE (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday), an innovative program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder designed to support currently serving and retired Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP, and their families.
COPE was founded by LCol (retired) Chris Linford and his wife Kathryn. Chris served 33 years in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and has battled PTSD since 1994 after his deployment to Rwanda. They discovered during Chris’s therapy in 2011 after his return from Afghanistan that the more their relationship improved, the better his personal health became as well as the health of his family.
COPE includes the spouse or partner as a significant element of the learning and experience in understanding and addressing the effects of PTSD. During the program’s five-day Phase One, five couples managing PTSD gather together at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford BC to work on their relationships as a group. They will be guided by two expert trauma therapists through this intense program providing them with tools for the couple to battle the effects of PTSD as a team rather than as an individual in isolation. The COPE Program Phase Two offers an ongoing family coaching process that will commence as the Phase One retreat ends. The coaching aspect will extend for six months and will involve three sessions per month for the duration conducted via telephone contact. Veterans need their families to get better and their families need support to help them deal with the challenges of living with PTSD. COPE will provide this support and help them to work together.
The first program begins on January 18th on Vancouver Island at Bear Mountain Resort thanks to the generosity of the owners, local business people and organizations who are hosting the COPE participants. “Chris and Kathryn are tremendous champions of all those living with PTSD,” said Dan Matthews, managing partner and founder of Ecoasis Developments LLP. owners of Bear Mountain Resort. “Supporting them in their efforts to help others who are battling PTSD is a privileged opportunity. On behalf of all those who are cheering for the success of this new program, we are proud to welcome and care for these brave couples at Bear Mountain.”
Chris and Kathryn Linford, Founders of COPE and National Ambassadors of Wounded Warriors Canada commented jointly, “Being injured with PTSD can make even the smallest aspects of life difficult – especially if you face them alone. Kathryn and I are very proud that the COPE Program includes the partner or spouse working together as a team to conquer all aspects of life and thus improving their chances for a happier and more successful future as a family”.
Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “Wounded Warriors Canada is focused not only on our ill or injured Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans, but on the wellbeing and support of their families. As such, and understanding the family-based design central to COPE, we were immediately onboard. We are proud to add COPE to our slate of programs and services we fund nationally, ensuring our Veterans and their families have access to these outstanding programs they so rightly deserve”.
“We look forward to the development of the COPE program, and its potential to further support Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans and their spouses or partners impacted by Post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to the ‘Caring for our Own’ program delivered by the CAF,” said Lieutenant-General David Millar, Commander of Military Personnel Command. “We are grateful for organizations such as Wounded Warriors Canada that show how much Canadians want to support members of the CAF, our veterans and their families.”
The Honourable Erin O’Toole, CD, Minister of Veterans Affairs, commented, “I commend Wounded Warriors Canada on this innovative and groundbreaking program in support of Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces Members and their families. I also want to thank the Linfords for turning their challenges from mental injuries from service into opportunities to help other families. Our Government understands the impact Operational Stress Injuries can have on the families of those who have served and supports Wounded Warriors and people like the Linfords in their ongoing work to improve the quality of life of Canadian veterans and their families.”
For more information on Wounded Warriors Canada and the COPE Program please visit: www.woundedwarriors.ca
SOURCE Wounded Warriors Canada