In the spirit of camaraderie and community support, the Regina Legion Branch 001 is thrilled to announce the kickstart of its long-anticipated Buddy Check Coffee Program. Starting January 2024 Legion member and dedicated volunteer Rob Nelson will spearhead this initiative, creating a space for connections and conversations within the community. With Wednesday, January 24th being Bell Let’s Talk Day, the timing couldn’t be more fitting to shed light on mental health awareness.
Buddy Check Coffee Program
The program is set to run every Monday 10 am-12noon. It will be held in the newly renovated upstairs event space at the Regina Legion, 1820 Cornwall Street in Downtown Regina. No registration is required; this is a drop-in event.
Buddy Check Coffee is a Veteran-run peer program offering comradeship in a relaxed environment, encouraging Veterans to network and share experiences and stories… while sipping coffee. Led by the Legion’s Operational Stress Injury Special Section (Legion OSI) and hosted by Legion members, Buddy Check Coffee is helping Veterans in their community connect and support each other.
Veterans Affairs Canada reports that
“about one-fifth of Canadian Veterans experience a diagnosed mental health disorder at some time during their lives– the most common are depression, PTSD and anxiety disorders. In a 2010 study of Veterans who were released from service between 1998 and 2007, about 24% reported they had a diagnosed mental health condition such as PTSD, depression or anxiety.”
Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Operational Stress Injuries are some of the least understood afflictions affecting military and RCMP members, Veterans, and first responders. As they are often left undiagnosed and/or misunderstood, or because symptoms often appear after release from the Armed Forces, Veterans are often left to their own devices to get the required medical care. They often cannot access the necessary diagnosticians and care providers because of the disconnect between Veterans Affairs Canada, provincial Ministries of Health, and the local health systems. To compound the challenge, the nature of OSIs often inhibits individuals from seeking help or accessing available resources.
This is a free program for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and RCMP Veterans, generously covered by Poppy Funds. While these funds cater to the needs of Veterans, the Regina Legion Branch 001 aims to make the Buddy Check Coffee Program accessible to First Responders as well, even though Poppy Funds do not cover them. The Legion believes in the power of community support and hopes to extend the reach of this initiative to benefit all who could benefit from it.
We will be serving delicious Rampage Coffee- this Saskatchewan family-owned company is an ardent supporter of veterans, and their quality coffee is a wonderful addition to this program! So, join us on Mondays and Tuesday evenings, and let’s brew connections that last a lifetime.
For more information on the Buddy Check Program, contact the Regina Legion.