So, November 11th is just around the corner. For those of you who may not know what Remembrance Day is, it is a day where Canada, (and a few other countries), celebrate the memory of the soldiers who have died in battle, and the veterans who have survived it. This year is a special year for Remembrance Day, as it is exactly 100 years from the end of World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of 1918. Remembrance Day is a day when we can look back and see how much the world has changed and honour those who helped to change it.

This Remembrance Day, I’m asking each of you to think of the veterans we have living among us. Many veterans suffer from PTSD, depression and other mental health problems after returning from war. As described in this article, veterans are also more likely than the general population to turn to suicide as the solution to their problems.The change from a warzone to a civilian lifestyle can be very difficult.

The reasons behind these suicides are also similar to those that civilians face. Substance abuse was a factor in over half of veteran suicides in Canada in 2016, and depression was the second leading factor.  According to this article, many of the suicides occurred after family troubles or problems at work. These are things that can affect us all. Encourage one another through these situations. Remember that the people you are around are often struggling with things you don’t know about and this counts for veterans just as much, if not more, than anybody else.

This year, remember the vets who died by suicide. Remember the wars they fought so that we wouldn’t have to. Remember the vets who made the ultimate sacrifice for their countries. And to any veterans who are reading this, we want you to know how grateful we are for your service. Please know, even if we don’t say it often enough, that you are loved, you are appreciated and you will never be forgotten.

Lest we forget.

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