Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

November 07, 2005 14:33 ET

VAC: National Mental Health Clinical Centre of Expertise Officially Opens

STE-ANNE DE BELLEVUE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2005) - On behalf of the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia, MP for Lac-Saint-Louis, officially opened the National Mental Health Clinical Centre of Expertise during the launch of Veterans' Week at Ste. Anne's Hospital.

The National Clinical Centre of Expertise is responsible for advances in mental health clinical care through program development, research, education and outreach activities.

"Addressing mental health is a top priority for my department," said Minister Guarnieri. "It is important that Canada's military - whether they are still in uniform or already released - have access to mental health care that is comprehensive, integrated and that delivers services consistently to a standard of excellence. The National Mental Health Clinical Centre of Expertise at Ste. Anne's helps secure Veterans Affairs Canada's place as a leader in the field of mental health and demonstrates Government's commitment to modernizing services."

The new Veterans Charter, introduced this year by Veterans Affairs, will make it easier and quicker for Canadian Forces (CF) members and Veterans with an operational stress injury (OSI) like anxiety, depression, or post traumatic stress disorder, to obtain services. CF members and Veterans will no longer need to qualify for a disability pension to access treatment for an OSI and there will be more access to services like rehabilitation, economic loss, health benefits, and job placement.

The National Mental Health Clinical Centre of Expertise is one element of a joint VAC/DND mental health strategy which also includes forums to share best practices in assessment and treatment, collaborative research and continuing education opportunities for health care professionals. The RCMP is exploring opportunities for involvement in the joint VAC/DND mental health strategy.

For more information on the National Clinical Centre of Expertise, the new Veterans Charter, and the VAC/DND mental health strategy, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

2005 is the Year of the Veteran. Celebrate. Honour. Thank. Remember. Teach.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    (613) 992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Corey Hobbs
    Director of Communications
    (613) 947-4908
    or
    Ste. Anne's Hospital
    Louise Cote
    Director, Communications
    (514) 457-3440 Ext: 2345