Transitioning Successfully: A Qualitative Study

Transitioning Successfully: A Qualitative Study - Infographic
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In-Depth Findings

A two-phased research study on the transition process for medically-released Canadian Veterans

Why did we do this?

To better understand the factors that contribute to a successful transition from military to civilian life


  • What helps?
  • What were the stressors and sources of support?
  • What challenges were faced?


Two-phased research project - 15 participants

Phase ONE: Literature Review

  • 94 relevant studies on transition
  • 18 addressed the determinants of successful transition
  • 2 focused on medically-released Canadian Veterans

Phase TWO: Qualitative Study

Online survey and in-depth telephone interviews

What were the biggest stressors during your transition?

(ranked as top 3 by participants)

  1. Maintaining Financial Security
  2. Health Issues
  3. Maintaining Family Life

What were your greatest sources of support?

(number of times ranked in top 3 by participants)

  1. Spouse
  2. Therapist, Counsellor or Psychologist
  3. Friends & Children

What helps?

  • Being proactive and "owning" one's transition
  • Having a supportive spouse or family member
  • Planning ahead and preparing - SCAN seminars were mentioned to be useful

What is a challenge?

  • Finding a new sense of purpose outside of the military
  • Concern with maintaining financial security post-release
  • Equating military experience with civilian work experience
  • Stigma towards mental health created relunctance to seek help
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