Her Excellency Sharon Johnston toured the Mental Health Clinic of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Health Services Centre (Atlantic) in Halifax on Wednesday in her new role as honourary captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command.
Johnston, who is visiting Halifax along with husband Governor General David Johnston, was appointed honorary captain (Navy) for her work in supporting military families and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
”Mental health is something that’s mattered to me my entire life, and I feel very happy that I might have some role as a civilian with the people in the military in terms of their mental health.”
READ MORE: ‘Self-stigma’ remains a barrier for military mental health: psychiatrist
During the tour, Johnston had the opportunity to meet with clinic staff and patients. She also got to try out a virtual reality simulator psychiatrists use as a method of treatment.
HE Sharon Johnston experiencing a virtual reality simulator during her visit to the CAF Health Services Centre (Atl) pic.twitter长沙桑拿/o0H8c2jBOw
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Johnston praised the many services the clinic offers, which include general mental health care, operational trauma and stress support, psychosocial services and addictions counselling.
“One individual has many, many different people that are available to them,” Johnston said.
“[It’s a] very nice atmosphere, very friendly atmosphere, a sense that they have a commitment towards people that come for help. It’s a marvelous thing to be able to ask for help. It’s a marvelous thing to get help.”
READ MORE: Canadian military members more likely to attempt suicide – and get help: study
During their stay in Halifax, the Johnston’s also participated in talks at the Halifax Central Library and attended the Annual Conference of the Governor General, Lietuenent Governors and Territorial Commissioners.
They capped off their visit with a Presentation of Honours in which Gov. Gen. David Johnston recognized remarkable Atlantic Canadians for their excellence, courage or exceptional dedication to service.