Following the hugely successful Toronto Invictus Games in September, the organisation has released the findings of an impact study, showing that Canadians are now more aware and understanding of injured veterans and their plight.
Three studies surveyed 1000 people from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The research, conducted by Maru/Matchbox, found that support for the Canadian Armed Forces jumped to 64% in October, from a polled 51% back in April, before the Invictus Games. There is also majority support for “any program that aims to help Canada’s veterans with physical and/or mental injuries” (73%).
“With the Games still fresh in our memory and with the marking of Remembrance Day this weekend, this research demonstrates a fundamental shift in support for Canadian veterans and servicemen and women,” said Michael Burns, CEO of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organising Committee.
“Remembrance Day is often associated with veterans of long-past wars and conflicts, but this research shows increased support for the ‘modern-day’ veteran, and those currently serving.”
An overwhelming majority (96%) of residents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) said they believe that post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is a significant issue for soldiers and veterans; many participants in the Invictus Games suffer with such issues.
9 in 10 respondents explained they want “do their part” to support veterans facing mental and physical injuries after service.
Canadians now have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by veterans returning from service, the report shows, as well as ‘significant increases’ in associations of injured service veterans with empowerment (up by 15pts), optimism (+14pts), power (+12pts), drive (+12pts) and transformation (+12pts). Interestingly, sadness dropped by 4 points.
The games also had a positive impact on perception too: 92% of GTA residents that took part said they agree that the Invictus Games can make a significant difference in the lives of veterans with physical and mental injuries, and 89% had a (very/somewhat) positive impression of the competition. In addition to this, people perceived the games to focus on the competitors (64%).
Amazingly, awareness reached 97% in the area following the Games, and nationally, awareness shifted 84% from 5%.
It is clear that the Invictus Games are going from strength to strength, having 111 nations viewing worldwide and an estimated reach of 2 billion people on social media. Prince Harry can be proud of what he began.
You can read more of the findings here.