Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) services and benefits can help clients living with mental health conditions, and their families, lead satisfying and productive lives. The Department’s Mental Health Program focuses on promotion of mental well-being, symptom reduction, recovery, community integration and enhanced quality of life.
All divisions within Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) contribute in some way to VAC’s Mental Health Program. Everyone has to work together to meet the needs of clients with mental health conditions.
VAC district offices, for example, provide access to mental health benefits and services to our clients. Other VAC units respond to telephone calls, whether initial client contacts or appeals, or deal directly with clients in other ways. To support these front-line service providers there are regional and national teams that provide operational leadership or help to organize and coordinate the many programs VAC provides.
The following organizations focus specifically on the needs of clients living with mental health conditions:
* The Mental Health Directorate is responsible for the overall coordination of VAC’s Mental Health Strategy.
* The National Centre for Operational Stress Injuries (NCOSI) provides clinical leadership in the field of mental health within the Department and provides direct services through the OSI clinic at Ste. Anne’s Hospital. NCOSI also oversees the network of VAC-funded OSI clinics, and facilitates communication between these clinics and the Department of National Defence’s Operational Trauma Stress Support Centres. VAC’s OSI Clinics provide clinical services to clients across the country who have complex mental health conditions.
* The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) Program is a joint initiative with Department of National Defence, which provides peer and family supports to those suffering from OSIs.
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