Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent released today Transitioning Successfully: A Qualitative Study. The aim of the study was to better understand what contributes to a successful transition from military to civilian life for medically released Canadian Veterans, by interviewing Veterans who feel that they transitioned successfully, learning about their lived experience, and determining the factors, programs and services that help.
“There is a need for more independent research on the transition experiences of Canadian Veterans and specifically the post-2006 medically-released Veteran population. I hope the results of this study will provide insight to those currently in transition from military to civilian life, as well as inform decision makers with the power to improve the transition process.”
The results of this study have been shared with the research community at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. Key findings include:
A successful transition from military to civilian life was more likely if the Veteran was proactive and “owned” their transition.
Having a supportive spouse was vital and noted as being the greatest source of support.
Planning and preparing for transition was important: SCAN seminars were noted as a helpful resource.
Even those who were successful faced challenges including: finding a new sense of purpose outside of the military, stress about maintaining financial security post release, facing stigma around seeking treatment for injuries (particularly mental health injuries), and equating military experience with civilian work experience.
The full report in individual chapters can be found here.
Source: Veterans Ombudsman, Canada