Veterans Affairs Canada expands access to mental health services in Saskatoon
SASKATOON, Sept. 13, 2018
SASKATOON, Sept. 13, 2018 /CNW/ - When a Veteran is struggling with mental health and finds the courage to talk, timely access to mental health services is key. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring Veterans and their families have access to the best possible assistance when and where they need it.
Today, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined Saskatchewan Health Authority's CEO Scott Livingstone for the opening of a new Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Satellite Service Site in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
OSI Clinics and Satellite Service Sites provide specialized, evidence-based assessment, treatment and support services for operational stress injuries. Services are provided to Canadian Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), current and former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their families. Staff at these sites are trained in treating a range of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Veterans Affairs Canada funds the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) to operate the Deer Lodge OSI Clinic. The new Saskatoon OSI Service Site is a satellite site of the Deer Lodge Clinic that will address the increased demand for OSI services in the province. This new arrangement between the WRHA and the Saskatchewan Health Authority will result in a team of clinicians operating out of the new site, which can be expanded as needed.
"Veterans struggling with mental health shouldn't have to look far to find help. We've come so far in our understanding and treatment of mental health for Canada's serving members and Veterans but we must also ensure that those supports are available where and when they're needed. By opening this new site in Saskatoon, we are better able to provide the specialized treatments and supports, as well as educational programs and therapy, for Veterans and their families in Saskatchewan."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"We appreciate Veteran Affairs Canada's support in providing a new satellite site for this important service for Saskatchewan military, RCMP and Veterans. We hope that the expansion of this service into our province will allow these individuals and their families to continue on a path toward healing. Psychological injuries sustained while performing operational duties is something those of us in health care know is very real. This site is an important step forward in addressing mental health needs and we hope to learn from this site in order to enhance our own offerings of mental health supports."
Scott Livingstone, CEO Saskatchewan Health Authority
- An operational stress injury is any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces or as a member of the RCMP.
- There are 11 OSI clinics across Canada. These include one residential OSI clinic at the Ste. Anne's Hospital and 10 outpatient clinics in Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Dartmouth, London, Ottawa, Québec City, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Additional OSI satellite service sites (8 in total) provide services closer to locations where Veterans live.
- The new OSI Satellite Service Site is located in the Saskatoon City Hospital at 701 Queen Street, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This satellite service site can be reached at 306-655-8266.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada