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Veterans advocates issue warning over recent soldier suicides

Grey skies loom over the main gate at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont. About 450 troops from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa sought mental health counselling within a 10-month stretch last year, say internal military records.
Grey skies loom over the main gate at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont. About 450 troops from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa sought mental health counselling within a 10-month stretch last year, say internal military records. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

OTTAWA – Veterans advocates say a number of suicides within the military in recent days may only hint at the magnitude of the problem.

They warn that for every death by suicide, as many as 12 others may have sought the same fate.

Watch the video below: Soldier suicides and PTSD treatment

The wife of one soldier who tried to end his life last month says psychological injuries as a result of Afghanistan are an epidemic among the Forces and the care is not what it should be.

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READ MORE: Soldier attempts suicide after told PTSD will end his military career

Michele Wolowidnyk says prior to her husband’s suicide attempt, he had only seen a social worker every two weeks, and had not been under a psychiatrist’s care since last summer.

Master Corporal Kristian Wolowidnyk, a former combat engineer who served in Kandahar in 2009-10, says he felt his life was over the moment the military told him he would be medically discharged because of his post-traumatic stress disorder.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau addresses need to help soldiers dealing with PTSD

Two days after being given the news and denied an extended release, Wolowidnyk tried to kill himself, but survived after being rushed to hospital in Edmonton where he met other Afghan veterans.

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He says many soldiers being released from service are in the same boat as him, and they don’t know what else they’d do with their lives.

READ MORE: Soldier suicides prompt concerns about military mental health support