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New funds for Canadian vets' mental health

Sept. 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The Canadian government announced an additional $11.4 million Wednesday to provide mental healthcare for its soldiers and veterans.

Speaking in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Defense Minister Pet MacKay said the new funds would supplement the existing $38.6 million already budgeted for mental health treatment.

He said the additional funds weren't a one-time allocation and would become part of future budgets.

The new funding will enable the Canadian Forces to hire at least four psychiatrists, 13 psychologists, 10 mental health nurses, 13 or more social workers and 11 or more addictions counselors, the department said in a release.

"The health needs, including the mental health needs, of military personnel are my number one priority in this role and I am committed to doing everything I can to provide the care needed for those defending our country," MacKay said.

Both the Canadian Psychiatric Association and Canadian Psychological Association issued news releases praising the government's decision.

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