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Military mental health nurse speaks to international audience

Sunday, September 09, 2012   by: Kate AdamsCaptain Stan French, Mental Health Nurse, answers a question during a panel discussion in front of over 300 NATO Reserve Officers'. The panel from left to right: Capt Benoît Chaucheprat, (France), (the moderator); Lt Christophe de Villeblanche (France); Capt Stan French; Mr. Mads Kroeger Pramming (Denmark); and BGen (Ret) Dr Stan Flemming (USA). Photo and story provided.

Captain Stan French, a Mental Health Nurse with the Canadian Forces (CF) Primary Reserves, was invited to speak at the NATO Reserve Officer’s Congress commonly referred to by its French acronym CIOR – The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers held in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 31st, 2012.

A twenty-three year veteran of the CF, French works part-time with 31 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Detachment North Bay and full-time at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, “It was a tremendous honour to be requested by CIOR to make a presentation on how to reduce stigma and increase access to mental health resources during deployment.”

This year’s symposium focused on issues facing reservists post-deployment. “Captain French provided a framework for success in the mental health field elaborating on specific clinical tools that leaders from the international community found useful in their own particular situations. He spoke with authority to the several hundred conferees from 25 countries in the audience,” said Deborah Nelson, United States Navy Captain, who extended the invitation to Capt French.

The next day French gave a scientific presentation to the Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR) about the care of Operational Stress Injuries when they occur concurrently with mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. His focus was on the roles of the mental health clinician when working with the rest of the medical team to provide the best care for injured soldiers while on deployment.

Last year, Capt French was selected to speak to the CIOMR in Warsaw, Poland on mental health care during deployment.

CIOR represents the interests of over 1.3 million reservists across thirty-six participating nations within NATO and beyond, making it the world’s largest military reserve officer organization.

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