HMCS Winnipeg’s Sentinels

Sentinels aboard HMCS Winnipeg that received refresher training.

Sentinels aboard HMCS Winnipeg that received refresher training.

Capt Arnold Noteh Glogauer
HMCS Winnipeg

As HMCS Winnipeg set out on Operation Neon and Projection in August, departments nominated Sentinels to participate in refresher training. A refresher workshop was conducted early on in the deployment to bring the Sentinels back to the basics, review some of the fundamentals they may have forgotten, and brush up on new information.

The Sentinel initiative is a peer support network established by the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service. The program is based on the understanding that the people we work with every day are in the best position to detect problems a co-worker is having.

Sentinels are a group of trained, supervised, non-professionals whose purpose is to improve peer support on a day-to-day basis through a set of behaviours and attitudes they use with their peers.

This strategic mental health buddy system is facilitated by empowering Sentinels to identify signs of distress in colleagues, to be able to offer better support, and where appropriate, to encourage an open discussion about their concerns and struggles with their chaplains, commanders, or mental health professionals.

2020 was a challenging year because of COVID where the recognition of Sentinel support was at a premium. Chaplains stationed all over the country continued to conduct Sentinel training; however, only on an online platform.

One of the Sentinel’s roles is to ensure that service personnel know how to access support and how to provide support for one another. This is even more essential in a deployment at sea.


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