MEDIA ADVISORY: St. Joseph's expands mental health services for veterans, military and RCMP

Sep. 26, 2017

Roméo Dallaire sheds light on PTSD and the need for treatment services

London, Ontario – The number of Canadian veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has almost tripled since 2007. In the past two years, the number of referrals to the Operational Stress Injury Clinic (OSI Clinic) at Parkwood Institute, part of St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s), has grown by 57 per cent, increasing the need to expand its mental health services to aid in recovery and rehabilitation.  

St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic has nearly doubled in size thanks to a $1.2 million renovation funded by Veterans Affairs Canada that will allow clinical staff to care for more patients and support cutting-edge research. Clients will also benefit from the latest treatment technology, a virtual reality suite, made possible by donations from the Byron and Lambeth Legions who contributed $40,000 from their Poppy Fund. St. Joseph’s will celebrate the expansion on September 28 from 2-4 pm.  

Later that evening, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation will salute Canada’s veterans and military personnel at the Tribute Dinner. Special guest, the Honourable Lieutenant General (retired) Roméo Dallaire will share his no-holds-barred journey with PTSD to inspire others to break the stigma around mental health. The foundation will also announce a significant gift from a local family that will advance veterans care and provide funds needed for OSI research.

On September 28, media are invited to:

  1. From 1-1:45 pm, tour St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic space (including a demonstration of the virtual reality suite) and interview: 

a) Dr. Cyd Courchesne, Director General of Health Professionals and Chief Medical Officer, Veterans Affairs Canada
b) Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London
c) Tom Shields, President, Lambeth Legion Branch 501 
d) Wayne Thompson, Immediate Past President, Byron Springbank Legion Branch 533

Parkwood Institute Main Building, 550 Wellington Road, London
The OSI Clinic is located in Zone D, in the Arthur J. Hobbins Building, Level 3, Room D3-106z

2. Attend the ribbon cutting ceremony

2 pm – 2:45 pm
Parkwood Institute Main Building, in the Western Counties Wing, Zone E, Level 1, 
Western Counties Wing Auditorium

3. Interview the Honourable Lieutenant General (retired) Roméo Dallaire 

2:50 – 3 pm 

4. Attend Tribute Dinner at London Convention Centre

a) 9 – 9:10 pm record the first 10 minutes of the feature presentation by the Honourable Lieutenant General (retired) Roméo Dallaire 

b) 9:40 pm major gift announcement (opportunity to interview Michelle Campbell, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation immediately following)

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For more information about St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic expansion and to arrange interviews:
Kelsi Break
Communication Consultant
519.646.6100 ext. 64792
 
For more information about St. Joseph’s Tribute Dinner:
Laura Janecka 
Marketing & Communications Officer
519.646.6100 ext. 65449
 

About St. Joseph’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic

St. Joseph’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic (OSI Clinic), part of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, provides specialized mental health services to veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their families who are experiencing mental health challenges as a result of military service. St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic is one of ten outpatient clinics in a national network across the country funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic serves Southwestern Ontario, the Greater Toronto area, Hamilton and Niagara and portions of Central Ontario. The main clinic is located in London, Ontario with satellite clinics in Toronto and Hamilton.

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