EDMONTON – Canada’s top general and Edmonton’s police chief joined some prominent academics in Alberta’s capital on Saturday to talk about the impact of stress, trauma and stigma.
Put on by the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction, the free lectures event, called Forces of Stress, highlighted the impacts of stigma and prejudice on people who have mental illnesses. It also looked at systemic forms of stigma and how organizations sometimes further marginalize people who have a mental illness.
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The event also took a closer look at occupations like policing and the military, which generally involve high-operational stress.
Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance acknowledge the issue is particularly prevalent among those who work with the Canadian Armed Forces.
“I think that may be in part because of that all-consuming life that is the armed forces, a vocational calling that has you abandon all sense of self before service,” he said. “We also know that many members of the profession of ours feel that admitting illness is admitting defeat.”
“(It is) very difficult to do when you wear a uniform and are prepared to stand firm against the most intense pressure to than recognize that perhaps you have personal challenge that would be translated into some sort of weakness.”
Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht is seen on April 16, 2016 at a lecture event dealing with stress and mental illness.
Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht also took part in the Forces of Stress.
The event was held at the MacDougall United Church.