The number of Canadian veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has almost tripled since 2007. To meet this growing demand and help veterans recover with better service, St. Joseph Operation Stress Injury Clinic makes expansion and reopens.
It has doubled in size thanks to a $1.2 million renovation funded by Veterans Affairs Canada.
But the clinic does not look like a clinic, it feels more like a home. With all the artwork from their former and current clients on the wall and the new family room, the atmosphere in St. Joseph Operation Stress Injury Clinic is very cozy. Besides, the inside walls and decorations are all in light colors.
The issue of Canadian veterans being diagnosed with PTSD is getting worse. This increases the need to expand mental health services to aid in recovery and rehabilitation. Nowadays we do see more facilities available for veterans, but retired Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire says it’s not enough.
“The resource level is astronomical compared to what it was because we started from scratch. The question is sometimes you hear people say you know we got so many clinics, so much this, so much that. They tend to think that is achieving the aim, it’s not, it’s getting there.”
Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire is a Canadian humanitarian, bestselling author, public speaker and retired senator and general. He served as Force Commander of UNAMIR, United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994.
He adds,“ it’s important to keep the political belief and population awareness that we are not 100 percent capacity but we are doing a fine job by far.”
Clients will benefit from the latest treatment technology, a virtual reality suite. This virtual reality suite is made possible by dona
tions from the Byron and Lambeth Legions who contributed $40,000 from their Poppy Fund.
“At certain point of your journey of recovery, it may be helpful through virtual reality to live the events that cause your trauma to help you know what the triggers are, and help you find ways to emotionally cope better with the long term effects of that particular trauma,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London.