Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 22, 2008 13:02 ET

Government of Canada Announces New Operational Stress Injury Clinic for Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLOMBIA--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced today the establishment of a specialized clinic in Vancouver dedicated to the treatment and support of service men and women living with operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or addiction.

"The Government of Canada is committed to those Canadians who have served this country, which is why we are investing in this new Vancouver clinic to ensure local quality services can be provided," said Minister Thompson. "Our government has been building our network of operational stress injury clinics across the country since 2006, to better serve these important Canadians and their families living with mental health conditions."

The new Vancouver clinic is a joint initiative funded by the Government of Canada and operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. It is part of a national network of operational stress injury clinics. The Vancouver clinic will cost approximately $140,000 to establish and will have an annual operating budget of $1,316,024. The clinic will have the capacity to treat between 100 and 150 clients a year.

Veterans Affairs Canada signed this agreement to operate an operational stress injury clinic in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health.

"We are proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish an Operational Stress Injury Clinic for the Province of British Columbia," said Lorna Howes, Director of Mental Health, Vancouver, Acute and Community at Vancouver Coastal Health. "Vancouver Coastal Health is already home to the Canadian Forces Trauma Training Centre West, and the addition of the new OSI clinic will only serve to strengthen the services we provide to Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members and Veterans, and their families."

The Vancouver clinic will provide specialized mental health services to Canadian Forces and RCMP members and Veterans living with service-related operational stress injuries, and their families. In addition to standardized assessment, treatment, prevention and support services offered through the clinic, educational programs and individual, group, and family counselling services will be available to clients. This clinic will be part of an integrated network with National Defence's Operational Trauma Stress and Support Centres-a key part of mental health services for Canadian Forces members and Veterans.

In 2006, Veterans Affairs Canada implemented the New Veterans Charter, a suite of programs designed to support and encourage successful transition to civilian life for releasing members of the Canadian Forces. An important part of the New Veterans Charter is the Mental Health Strategy which includes the clinic network, Ste. Anne's Hospital's National Centre for Operational Stress Injuries, peer support through the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program, and research in the field of mental health.

It is anticipated that the Vancouver clinic will be ready to open its doors to clients by December 2008.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649
    or
    Vancouver Coastal Health
    Gavin Wilson
    Acting Regional Director, Public Affairs
    604-708-5312