Now Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and families living with an Operational Stress Injuries (OSIs) in Nova Scotia can receive proper assessment, diagnoses, and treatments with the opening of the new Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic.
Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined Lindsay Peach, Vice-President of Integrated Health for Nova Scotia Health Authority, today to officially open the clinic.
“Living with an OSI can be extremely difficult, not only for those who have it, but for their loved ones as well. This new clinic will make a real difference in the lives of those who receive treatment here. These proud Canadians need to know that when their service to our country has concluded, we are there for them. They need to know that they are not alone. And they need to know that we are going to do everything we can to help them get better. That is our ultimate goal,” said Hehr.
Located in Dartmouth, the clinic is funded by Veterans Affairs Canada and operated in partnership with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The clinic is staffed with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and other specialized clinicians who can understand the needs of veterans, currently serving members and current and former RCMP members living with OSIs.
Prior to the opening of a temporary clinic in November 2015, members of the military community residing in Nova Scotia had to receive services through a satellite clinic or via tele-health.
“Nova Scotia Health Authority is honoured to be part of a service that can make a difference in the recovery and quality of life of Veterans and their loved ones. We have a rich military background in Nova Scotia and value our continued strong relationship with the RCMP. Staff and leaders of the Nova Scotia Health Authority worked together with Veterans Affairs Canada to create a welcoming, professional environment that is conducive to delivering excellent clinical care and support to Veterans and their families while, at the same time, helping to build the capacity of our teams to support other Nova Scotians,” said Lindsay Peach, Vice President, Nova Scotia Health Authority.
Currently, there are 11 OSI clinics across Canada. Outpatient clinics are located in Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Dartmouth, London, Ottawa, Québec City, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Winnipeg and Vancouver and one residential OSI clinic is located at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital.
The VAC and the DND have a network of 26 specialized mental health clinics where CAF members and veterans can be served.
Veterans, former RCMP members, and their families can always receive immediate mental health counselling with a professional over the phone 24/7 by calling the toll-free assistance line 1-800-268-7708 (TTD/TTY 1-800-567-5803).