Veterans Affairs Canada expands access to mental health services in Kingston
KINGSTON, ON: When a Veteran is struggling with their mental health, and they find the courage to talk about it and seek help, timely access to mental health services can make the difference. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring Veterans and their families have the mental health services they need when and where they need it.Today, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal), for the opening of The Royal's newest Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic service site in Kingston, Ontario.
Funded by Veterans Affairs Canada and operated in partnership with The Royal, the new service site will address the increased demand for OSI Clinic services in the greater Kingston area.
"We have come so far in our understanding and treatment of mental health for Canada's serving members and Veterans. What is equally as important is making sure that those supports are available where and when our Veterans need them. By opening this new clinic in Kingston, we are better able to provide the specialized treatments and supports, as well as educational programs and therapy, for Veterans and their families. "The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"Veterans struggling with their mental health shouldn't have to look far to find help. The skilled and caring staff at The Royal are experts in providing support and treatment for operational stress injuries. By expanding these services to Kingston, we hope to help even more Veterans and their families begin to heal."
George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal Ottawa
An operational stress injury is any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or as a member of the RCMP.
There are 11 OSI clinics across Canada. These include two operational stress injury clinics at Ste. Anne's Hospital in Montreal—one residential and one outpatient—as well as operational stress injury clinics in London, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Calgary, Fredericton, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Dartmouth. Additional satellite clinic sites, such as in Kingston, provide services closer to locations where Veterans live.
Through the VAC Assistance Service, Veterans can reach a professional counsellor at any time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—by calling 1-800-268-7708.