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’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic celebrated their expansion on Thursday with a ribbon cutting.
Veterans Affairs Canada has committed to funding $2.2 million over the next decade, with the initial expansion costing $1.2 million.
New technology for the clinic now includes a state-of-the-art virtual reality suite, allowing veterans to use it as treatment for PTSD. The suite will take veterans back to the exact moment causing trauma.
In addition, a tribute dinner to commemorate Canadian veterans living with PTSD took place after the ceremony.
Retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire shared his story in front of a packed London Convention Centre.
“Out of the darkness of my PTSD has come the capacity to understand human suffering, and
with it, the first small healing rays of love,” said Dallaire.
During the tribute dinner, local business leaders Kyle MacDonald and John Franklin announced a $1 million donation to support St. Joseph’s Veterans Care Program.