Military Veteran sets sights on opening health and wellness centre for Veterans
Keeping in line and marching to the rhythm. Cadence is the key for anyone wanting to become a successful soldier.
And now it’s the key for any Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member wanting to improve their mental health, thanks to CAF veteran Chris Dupee’s new health and wellness centre.
“Our goal is basically to get you in step again,” said Dupee, founder of the Cadence Health and Wellness Centre.
With a target of opening its doors in August, the Cadence Health and Wellness Centre aims to tackle the mental health concerns of veterans, first responders and their families through therapy and peer support.
The centre’s therapists will be trained to do assessments, reassessments, diagnosis and continued therapy and the staff will deal with Veterans Affairs Canada on behalf of their clients.
Even though Cadence will be based out of Newmarket, ON, the centre is equipped to assist clients from across the country through a virtual telehealth platform.
Cadence is the brainchild of Dupee, who has been a part of the mental health advocacy field since 2011 when he founded the mental health advocacy charity, Military Minds. He also worked for a time with Marijuana for Trauma, running their Ontario operations.
“I wanted to take all of my experience and put it into a clinical model, and be able to create jobs, and create a career for myself doing what I love and giving back as I possibly can,” said Dupee.
As someone who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder himself, Dupee and his wife, Angel, know all too well the challenges that come with a mental illness and the impact it has on families. That’s why the pair is working together to provide unique and unconventional peer support programs through Cadence.
“I believe, from my personal experiences, all my growth happened outside of my comfort zones. So, we’re going to try to place people outside of that,” noted Dupee.
From axe throwing to playing baseball to bowling to billiards, it’s all in the game plan.
Cadence will also offer “anything that can improve your life even in the slightest,” such as DIY, mechanic and graphic design lessons.
“That’s essentially another tool to express yourself. We want to load people up with as many tools as we can,” commented Dupee.
Dupee and his wife have been working on getting Cadence up for a year now, and they are now in the final steps of renovating and getting the clinic running.
The final stages include securing the perfect doctors. With the help of a special advisory board made up of veterans and first responders, the doctors are handpicked and go through a stringent vetting process.
“You have to be sensitive with certain things. I want to get the doctors as prepared as possible. Rather than just hiring a qualification, I want to hire the actual right person,” noted Dupee.
Even though the plan is to open in August, Dupee is willing to wait if it means equipping the centre with the perfect doctors for the job, doctors that can ensure that families can be whole once again.
“That’s our big target, connecting families again. Just getting people as healthy and happy as possible and out of their comfort zones,” said Dupee.
For updates or to learn more about Cadence Health and Wellness, you can visit their Facebook page .
Look for our profile on Chris and Angel Dupee in our Transition issue, coming out at the end of July.