A Montreal soldier returning from Afghanistan says more needs to be done to push mental health issues out of the closets of the military and those serving in it.
Master Cpl. Anthony Alliot of the Grenadier Guards infantry regiment returned to Canada last week. He told CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty Tuesday morning that while he doesn’t personally feel distressed by his experience in Kabul, he knows a lot of his comrades do.
“I think it’s something that’s slowly coming more and more out of the closet. It’s something guys have a hard time talking about, but it’s becoming less and less, I think, taboo,” he said.
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Alliot’s job in Kabul was to protect Major General Dean J. Milner, the head of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan.
He said the news of military suicides in Canada that gets back to those actively serving overseas can hit pretty hard.
Alliot said he has three people in particular he can talk to about his experience in Afghanistan and about his return home. He said many resources are available to returning soldiers.
“I think the most important thing is having a strong network of peers that support each other. It’s really the best thing for guys coming back,” he said.
Alliot’s mother, Caroline Jondhal, said she is fairly comfortable with her son’s own mental state, but can’t help but think of her father’s battle with post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affected her and her family growing up.
“It’s something I carry around in me,” she said.
She said she was shattered by news of military suicides.
“War is not a natural act for human hearts and human souls to deal with,” Jondhal said.