Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

February 20, 2009 13:48 ET

Government of Canada Opens Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2009) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Ms. Anne Sutherland Boal, Chief Operating Officer, Vancouver Acute, Vancouver Coast Health, today officially opened Canada's newest clinic dedicated to the treatment and support of service men and women living with operational stress injuries.

"Responding to our Veterans' mental health needs is a priority for our government, a priority for our partners and a priority for Canadians," said Minister Thompson. "Our network of operational stress injury clinics demonstrates our commitment to improving the quality of life of clients and their families living with mental health conditions. This clinic provides them with the help they need and deserve."

The Vancouver Clinic is one of five new operational stress injury clinics funded by the Government of Canada. By fall 2009, Veterans Affairs Canada will have a national network of 10 operational stress injury clinics, which complements the five operational trauma and stress support centres operated by the Department of National Defence.

"Our Government recognizes the stresses associated with military operations and we are committed to strengthening support for those affected by operational stress injuries," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway.

The cost to establish the Vancouver Clinic was approximately $140,000. It has an operating budget of approximately $1.3 million per year. The Vancouver Clinic, funded by Veterans Affairs Canada and managed by Vancouver Coastal Health, provides specialized mental health services. Once fully operational, the Clinic will have the capacity to accommodate up to 150 clients. Clients include Veterans, Canadian Forces members and eligible Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, as well as their families, living with operational stress injuries-including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression or addiction. The Clinic offers diagnosis, standardized assessment, treatment, prevention and support services, as well as educational programs and individual, group, and family counselling services.

"We are pleased to offer this important mental health program to Veterans, service members and families in Vancouver," said Anne Sutherland Boal. "The new clinic will give them better access to appropriate treatment and improve the quality of life for those who have served our country so bravely."

Veterans Affairs Canada's Mental Health Strategy complements the new suite of programs and services put in place under the New Veterans Charter. The Charter was established in 2006 to better address the needs of today's Veterans, including those with operational stress injuries. It gives Veterans the tools and opportunities they need to build better lives for themselves and their families after their career in the military has ended. To date, more than 12,600 Canadian Forces members, Veterans and their families have received support through the New Veterans Charter.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    Vancouver Coastal Health
    Trudi Beutel
    Public Affairs Officer