The Government of Canada increases support for mental health services by funding an expansion to the Carewest Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic

Providing mental health services to Veterans and their families is an ongoing commitment for the Government of Canada

CALGARY, April 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Veterans, like other Canadians, can experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and low self-esteem. When these feelings impact a Veteran's ability to function, accessing timely professional help is essential. This is why Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces have invested heavily in improving and promoting access to care for currently serving personnel and Veterans.

Veterans, their families and Carewest OSI Clinic employees today joined the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, for the opening of the Carewest OSI Clinic expansion in Calgary, Alberta.

In partnership with Alberta Health Services, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) funded the expansion at the Carewest Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic. The expansion allows for future growth to meet not only the needs of Veterans, but also those of serving Canadian Armed Forces members and current and former RCMP members.

The facility was expanded by approximately 1,400 square feet, increasing the size of the clinic to 8,000 square feet. The additional space will accommodate the clinic's growing number of health professionals, which has risen from 5 to 20 employees since 2006. Each OSI Clinic has a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, and other specialized clinicians who understand the experience and unique needs of those with military service.

Quotes

"I am very pleased to be here today for the expansion of the Carewest OSI Clinic in Calgary. I want to thank the entire Carewest team for their continued efforts to ensure our Veterans receive the mental health services they need. This expansion illustrates our Government's continued commitment to ensure we provide access to a wide range of mental health services, supports and information for Veterans and their families."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

"The Carewest Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic's 2017 expansion reflects its 11-year dedication to meeting the ever-growing need for innovative evidence-based mental health services to Canadian Armed Forces members and RCMP members who have sustained psychological injuries in the line of duty and to their families who have borne the burden of their illnesses." 
May Wong, Ph.D., R. Psych Carewest Operational Stress Injury Clinic

"The expansion of the OSI clinic will support our ability to meet the needs of Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP and their families. We are pleased that the partnership between Carewest, Alberta Health Services and Veterans Affairs Canada affirms our shared vision of supporting clients and their families by enabling access to specialized mental health services."
Yaro Kiselev, Director of Operations, Carewest Operational Stress Injury Clinic

Quick Facts  

  • The Carewest OSI Clinic was officially opened in April 2006.
  • The Clinic serves Veterans; serving CAF members; and current and former RCMP members in central and southern Alberta as well as the southeast tip of BC.
  • Although funded by VAC, all of the OSI Clinics are operated by provincial health authorities. All OSI Clinic health professionals are provincial employees.
  • There are now more than 20 full-time employees working at the Carewest OSI Clinic; an increase of 15 since opening in 2006.
  • Veterans Affairs Canada funds a network of 11 OSI clinics across the country (10 outpatient and 1 inpatient).
  • This expansion represents approximately $160,000 investment in mental health services.
  • Veterans Affairs Canada has a well-established national network of around 4,000 mental health professionals who deliver mental health services to Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries.

 

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, vac.media-medias.acc@vac-acc.gc.ca; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649

RELATED LINKS
www.veterans.gc.ca

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