PMT – Dose of reality

PMT – Dose of reality

First Year PMT article

Article written by Ptaszynski R Pavel 28171

Among the many sensitive and stigmatized topics present in the modern day, mental illness is one which still seems to get an almost criminal lack of attention. Manning up and just repressing your feelings and problems is a terrible solution, but it still seems to be the prevailing way of dealing with mental illness. Today’s PMT must have been a welcome surprise for the many men and women in uniform who secretly struggle to cope with depression or severe stress. Learning that well-known people suffered in the dark like those among us, is a sign that it affects us all. Mental illness, it turns out, rears its ugly head into more places than one would normally think. Struggling with mental illness actually affects performance if left untreated; as it just becomes a heavier and heavier burden of guilt or shame or whatever negative emotion it causes, thereby decreasing performance. The most important lesson to be learned from today, is that we all need someone to speak to if we are suffering. While there are resources like the Padres and medical staff, having a trusted friend who you can tell your overwhelming feelings to, can sometimes be a lifesaver. So, we should all try to lend our ears to those who trust us, because we might just be able to save their lives.


Second Year PMTs: Leadership and Mental Health

By 27832 OCdt (II) Cardona, 12 Squadron

This Wednesday, the Class of 2019 participated in two engaging PMT sessions. The first, led by LCdr Moore, the B Division Commander, was a mental health briefing in support of Bell Let’s Talk and the second was a lecture on Leadership at the Junior Level conducted by Captain Crombach, the 9 Sqn commander.

In recent years, the Canadian Armed Forces has taken the initiative to reduce the stigma around mental health. The Bell Let’s Talk initiative has similar goals, but in a mostly civilian context. Recognizing the importance of discussing mental health issues, the CAF has begun to employ some of Let’s Talk’s tools to promote a conversation within the organization.

On Wednesday, which was also Bell Let’s Talk day, LCdr Moore guided the second years through a Let’s Talk presentation on how to discuss mental health issues. He coupled the presentation with anecdotes from his time in the Navy and emphasized that we, as junior officers, must help eliminate the stigma around seeking mental health treatment.

The second briefing focused on the responsibilities, role and qualities of a junior leader in the CAF. Capt Crombach led the second years through an animated discussion of how to be an effective leader.

The key aspects of the presentation focused on how to motivate troops to complete tasks, placing mission success above all, looking out for subordinates and behaving ethically. This was an important lecture for the CAF’s aspiring leaders.


III Year PMT article – MIA


IV Year – PMT Bell Let’s Talk Day

On Wednesday January 25th, 2017 Bell held their annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, an event that the majority of the students at the Royal Military College were already aware of. What was different this year was the briefing from the training wing. The purpose of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is to allow people suffering from mental health issues to feel supported enough to open up about their struggles. I feel the training wing stressing the importance of opening lines of communication will help students to talk more freely with superiors and peers if they need help. This is very important at the college because if mental health problems go untreated they can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering. A supporting student body and training wing will help sufferers of mental health issues to seek the help they need. I think that is a beautiful thing because no one needs to suffer in silence, support is there, cadet need only ask for it.

26981 Victoria Brown

One Comment

  • 6533, Gordon Forbes, Class of '65

    January 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I have suffered from depression for over 26 years, the result of post traumatic stress from the 1969 explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay. When I was writing a book about that event, We Are as One, I thought I was the only one of the survivors that had suffered such a fate. But after the publication of the book, many other members of the group came forward and said the same thing, “I thought I was the only one.” It was not until 40 years after the event that I finally told my wife, who lived through the aftermath of the fire and through my depression, what had happened that day. As the writers of these reports have said, communication is important, preferably with professionals, but also with family and close friends.