A man behind the group pushing for a medical centre in Nova Scotia for veterans will present the proposal to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs on Tuesday.
“We should have some kind of centre that veterans could go to, walk in or be brought in by other veterans and get their health care started, and get their Veterans Affairs paperwork in order, and start the processes,” retired Sgt. Roland Lawless said on Monday in West Chezzetcook, N.S.
He is the president of the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Centre Society.
Lawless said the idea came to him two years ago for a one-stop shop to address the needs of veterans in the province.
The centre would be a better place to get care, the same kind of care veterans were used to while serving, compared to the traditional avenues, he said.
“Anything in that ER could potentially trigger you on a PTSD episode and then it becomes ramped up from there. As they try to calm you down, you escalate, and the next thing you know, you’re being escorted out by the police or the security and you didn’t get your health care,” Lawless said.
Retired Master Seamen Jim Lowther, who is the CEO of Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada, said he noticed a need for this proposed project years ago.
“A veteran, someone who wore the uniform, protected our country, I think they deserve a hospital or a clinic for them to deal with their mental health and physical injuries,” he said in Dartmouth.
WATCH: Society hopes to provide veterans and first responders with a home away from home
Lawless said he also wants the federal government involved in the project, and that a potential site could be the bottom floor of the Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic.
“For every day that goes by, there’s the chance of another veteran committing suicide, and part of this clinic’s goal is to curb the suicide rate within our community,” Lawless said.