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Military to devote $11.4-million in effort to boost mental health care programs

Canadian soldiers patrol an area in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

Colin Perkel/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The defence minister has announced that the Canadian Forces will devote $11.4-million of its annual budget into increased spending on mental health care programs.

Peter MacKay says the funding will pay for at least 51 positions that would include psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers and addictions counsellors.

Mr. MacKay says the number of new hires could be more, depending on the qualifications of the new employees and the cost for each position.

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He says $1-million of the funds will be spent increasing the number of primary care doctors and $2.7-million will cover nine contracted physicians.

Mr. MacKay says the funds come on top of $38.6-million spent on the mental health needs of personnel.

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