Health and Wellness

New Trauma Centre for CAF Personnel and Veterans Opens in Maritimes

This month, the Atlantic Centre for Trauma opened its doors exclusively to military members, veterans, and first responders.

Established by the Edgewood Health Network (EHN), the new Atlantic Centre for Trauma will offer a tailored program to address the needs of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, Veterans, and first responders struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, mood disorders, substance use disorders, and chronic pain.

The facility is housed in EHN’s Ledgehill Treatment Centre in Nictaux, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. The Trauma Centre can accommodate 15 people.

The Trauma Centre Clinicians

The facility is home to highly trained clinicians using cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment to address the specific mental health concerns military members and Veterans face.

“They are also proud to be offering innovative new treatments, including Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to treat major depressive disorder and several other psychiatric conditions, as well as Ketamine Treatment for effective treatment for depression,” stated a press release from EHN.

Dr. Luke Napier, MD FRCP ABPN, has been chosen as the Centre’s Psychiatric Medical Director. He comes into the role with more than 30 years of experience in the field. For the past 10 years, his private practice in Halifax has focused on caring for Canadian Forces, RCMP members, and veterans.

“I am very passionate about my work with clients struggling with trauma-related issues,” Dr. Napier says, “especially those who have been injured in their service to their community, and to their country. So, I am very happy to be starting my work with EHN Canada, as the Psychiatric Medical Director for the highly skilled team at the new Atlantic Centre for Trauma.”

Addressing Needs

According to the EHN press release, a large number of veterans call Atlantic Canada home, nearly double the rate of other provinces in the country. Therefore, the demand for PTSD treatment and other mental-health-related challenges is greater in this area.

Additionally, EHN pointed to a recent survey conducted by McMaster University that proves Veterans have had worsening mental health conditions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the survey, “55.9 per cent of respondents reported worse mental health functioning compared to before the pandemic, while the percentage of those struggling with probable post-traumatic stress disorder of those surveyed was 34.2 per cent.”

Need for Mental Health Care Increasing

This rising need for mental health care access is coupled with mental health care staff shortages in the Maritimes and emergency facility doors closing.

According to the press release, inpatient mental healthcare beds have been at maximum capacity across the region since early 2020, and wait times for inpatient mental health care can be up to 100 days.

“Front line workers are facing particular challenges due to COVID and fatigue. As a result, we’re seeing more of them coming in for treatment, having developed a problematic relationship with drugs or alcohol, as well as depression and anxiety,” says Cara Vaccarino, EHN Canada’s Chief Operating Officer.

The hope is with the Atlantic Centre for Trauma opening its doors this month, these needs can finally be met.

Other EHN Facilities

EHN Canada is the nation’s largest network of industry-leading mental health, trauma, and addiction treatment facilities, each with a passion for providing quality treatment for Canadians.

EHN has a number of other facilities located across the country, each with varying focuses. Facilities can offer support for core addiction and mental health, outpatient Aftercare, a family program, and more. The network also provides support in a virtual format.

EHN has two more facilities, besides the newly opened Atlantic Centre for Trauma, directed specifically to meet the needs of military members and Veterans. In Ontario, the Gateway Recovery Centre is the premier destination for trauma and addiction programs. Located in Peterborough, Gateway Recovery Centre offers a Trauma and Psychological Injury Program, along with many other programs.

EHN also offers a facility to meet the needs of military members and Veterans in Quebec called Clinique Nouveau Depart. The facility is in Montreal and provides a specialized program to address trauma injuries.

To learn more about EHN and their facilities, visit their website here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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