Alberta Health Services officially opened a new Operational Stress Injury Clinic especially for veterans yesterday, the first of its kind in northern Alberta.
The unique clinic — located in Northgate Mall — boasts a warm colour palette, soft natural lighting and tranquil soundproofed rooms to the point that the clinic feels more like a relaxing living room or study and less like a health facility.
“The space was developed with the stakeholders’ input,” explained Jeff Sych, manager of the new facility. “A lot of people with post-traumatic stress disorder are very sensitive to light, heat, noise … so we’ve incorporated adjustable lighting in each of the treatment areas, as well as soundproofing and temperature control.”
In addition to offering treatment for PTSD, the clinicians at the facility also offer treatment to veterans with depression, anxiety and substance-abuse issues.
The clinic also offers help to the families of the veterans dealing with these types of operational stress injuries.
“We offer therapeutic services to the individuals themselves, but also to their family members and spouses,” noted Debbie Leskiuw, a clinical social worker with the clinic.
“We can offer family therapy or couples therapy … we’re a multidisciplinary team, so we offer a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to treating people.”