Veterans across Canada are being told to use apps on mobile devices to get information about PTSD and other conditions, but the service isn’t sitting well in Cape Breton.

Nine Veterans’ Affairs offices across the country are closing, including one in Sydney. At the same time, the federal government is releasing the apps.

Veterans Terry Collins and Ron Clarke both suffer from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder. On Thursday they tested the new apps designed to help them in times of crisis.

“I didn't even know what apps stood for before that phone was given to me and I certainly have never tried to manoeuvre something like that,” said Clarke.

“What I would need right now is a magnifying glass to read this,”

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said he supports the apps.

People, not apps

But Collins said when people need mental health care, the last thing they want to do is fumble with a touch screen.

“Way too mind boggling. When you're in crisis you don't got time in your head to look at something like that. It's bad enough looking face to face to somebody and getting answers that way, that we can put up with. But a phone or a computer that runs you around in circles like I've seen these phones do, it's crazy."

Both Collins and Clarke said this is no way to be thanked for their service.

“They are trying to save money on the backs of the veterans,” said Clarke.

“Totally frustrated, totally disappointed and I feel my government has let me down," said Collins.

Clarke and Collins said the suggested use of apps make them even more determined to keep the local Veterans' Affairs office open.


  • In an earlier version of this article, CBC incorrectly reported that Minister Julian Fantino prefers apps over local offices.
    Oct 11, 2013 1:04 PM AT