Canadian Security Magazine

Wounded Warriors supports PTSD program

By Canadian Security   

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Wounded Warriors Canada will donate $300,000 to an innovative couples-based program for post-traumatic stress disorder. The COPE (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday) program is designed to support ill and injured, currently serving and retired Canadian Armed Forces members, first responders and their families.

COPE was founded by LCol (retired) Chris Linford and his wife Kathryn. Chris served 33 years in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and has battled PTSD since 1994 after his deployment to Rwanda.

Phil Ralph, national program director for Wounded Warriors Canada, commented: “Owing to the outstanding support of our donors, Wounded Warriors Canada continues to be a leader in mental health program delivery and development across a broad spectrum of care. We are proud and moved to be making our single largest annual program investment to support this one-of-a-kind, life changing and saving program – inspired and nurtured by Chris and Kathryn’s own experience as a couple.”

COPE includes the spouse or partner as a significant element of the learning and experience in understanding and addressing the effects of PTSD. During the program’s five-day Phase One, five couples managing PTSD gather together to work on their relationships as a group. They are guided by two expert trauma therapists through this intense program, who provide tools for the couple to battle the effects of PTSD as a team rather than as an individual in isolation.

The COPE Program Phase Two offers an ongoing family coaching process that will commence as the Phase One retreat ends. The coaching aspect will extend for six months and will involve three sessions per month for the duration conducted via telephone contact. Veterans need their families to get better and their families need support to help them deal with the challenges of living with PTSD. COPE will provide this support and help them to work together.


Chris and Kathryn Linford, Founders of COPE, commented, “The COPE program is impacting couples in a new and very positive way. With this historic donation from Wounded Warriors Canada, we look forward to a broadened delivery plan that will see many more veterans and first responders – joined by their spouses and partners – participate in the program.”

For more information on Wounded Warriors Canada and the COPE program, click here.

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