New App, Research Money Announced for Vets Suffering Post-Traumatic Stress

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New app, money announced for vets with PTSD

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TORONTO - The roll-out of a new smartphone app and money for a two-year study should go some distance toward helping Canadian veterans and others cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, the federal government announced Monday.

The initiatives should also help families of vets, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney said in making the announcement at the start of Mental Health Week.

"Our government recognizes the seriousness of PTSD among veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel and its impact on their families," Blaney said.

"These important initiatives ... will assist us in addressing the mental-health needs of those who sacrificed so much for their country."

Dubbed "PTSD Coach Canada," the free app -- initially announced as a test in February -- provides users with information on PTSD, self-assessment for symptoms, information about professional health care, and where to find support.

It also includes tools -- ranging from relaxation skills and positive self-talk to anger management -- that can help users manage symptoms and the stresses of daily life.

The customizable app, which can be downloaded to mobile devices through the iTunes store and Android Market, was adapted from an American version created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Defense.

While tailored to veterans and military personnel, any Canadian can use the app. …