POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 81 Suicide and suicide prevention in the Canadian Armed Forces (continued) Investigation process Each suicide in the CAF is investigated. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) investigates all sudden deaths which occur within their jurisdiction.The CFNIS gathers evidence and works with the coroner who then determines the cause of death. CFNIS investigations are conducted in accordance with Canadian police standards. Sudden deaths outside of CFNIS jurisdiction are investigated by local police authorities. When Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS) is made aware of a suspected suicide, an initial medical record review is conducted. The responsible civilian coroner’s office is responsible for determining the official cause of death. For each completed suicide (often before confirmation from a coroner is received by the CAF) a medical review is conducted within a few days after the death. This is usually followed by the initiation of a Medical Professional Technical Suicide Review.This is an in-depth medical review conducted by a two-person team typically composed of a General Duty Medical Officer and a psychiatrist. These clinicians interview family, friends, colleagues, the chain of command, and health care providers in order to gain an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the death. Lessons learned can be used to improve the CAF suicide prevention program or other health services programs.To date, such reviews have provided greater insight into suicide in the CAF and how to enhance the already high-quality mental health care provided by the CAF. A Board of Inquiry is also normally convened in cases where the cause of death is suspected to be from self-inflicted means. The motivating factors that led to the event are often among the issues examined during this process. Emergency care In the case of an emergency, CAF members in crisis can see a primary care physician on a 'walk-in' basis, without an appointment, at one of the CAF medical clinics during normal business hours. All primary care physicians have been trained in suicide assessment, management, and prevention. Members may also go to a civilian health care centre during quiet hours or they may call 911 (for an acute emergency) or 1-800-268-7708 to reach the Member Assistance Program, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world, and receive a confidential referral for help. The friends and family of someone in need of help can also contact emergency services, who will either bring the suicidal member to the base clinic during working hours, or to the local hospital emergency department after hours. Military and civilian police, as well as emergency services personnel, are trained in mental health crises and in helping and managing the suicidal person. Resources and support In addition to the primary care services and mental health clinics available on all wings and bases, CAF members with mental health concerns and their families currently have access to a range of CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada services and programs including: • counselling under the Member Assistance Program at 1-800-268-7708; • the 24/7 Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546; • peer support through the Operational Stress Injury Social Support network; • support from their base chaplains; • the guidance of the more than 40 Military Family Resource Centres located at CAF installations across the country, in the U.S., and in Europe. For more information on support programs available to CAF members and their families, please contact the Canadian Armed Forces at 1-888-828-3626 or online at Education programs CFHS has several programs aimed at preventing or mitigating the effects of stress. Educational programs are delivered to various levels of leadership and cover all aspects of a member’s career.Through the Road to Mental Readiness program, the Directorate of Mental Health Training and Education Section has developed an evidence-based mental health curriculum that has been integrated in CAF career courses. Since 2009, over 56 000 CAF members have received some form of mental health training and education. For more information on these courses and other mental health education and awareness programs, please visit the the Road to Mental Readiness Program web page at programs/caf-mental-health-services.html#rmrp or contact the CanadianArmed Forces at 1-888-828-3626. The CAF health promotion program, Strengthening the Forces, offers mental fitness and suicide awareness and (continued)