My Day with the Colonel

Colonel Rakesh Jetly - Making a Comeback web series

Yesterday, I had a one hour interview with Colonel Rakesh Jetly, senior psychiatrist with the Canadian Armed Forces and mental health advisor to the Surgeon General. Our film crew accompanied Jetly on a speaking tour of Vancouver, including stops at UBC and the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Training Centre.

Colonel Jetly impressed us with his straight talk about the need for systemic change in mental health. “Getting people into care is the beginning not the end,” he told UBC medical students, as he advocated for a more personalized approach to medicine and the need for continued research to ensure better understanding of mental illness in both soldiers and civilians alike.

One of the findings that came from Canadian Armed Forces research was that soldiers who died by suicide commonly had a cell phone with them at the time. Jetly advocates for “Meeting people where they are, not where we are,” and believes that embracing technology solutions and a more flexible model vs. the traditional bricks and mortar approach is the direction we need to move in.

I share Jetly’s belief in removing barriers to access and adopting new communication and technology solutions.

Saving lives – one story and one smartphone at a time.

Producer / Director Allanah Mooney