It's something I feel quite passionately about. Because of my other work in addictions and mental health, I work at the CMHA, and we see civilians with mental health issues and we treat them very differently there compared to the way the OSI clinic does.
The way we treat it is, people come into the CMHA, whether they come through addiction services, CMHA, a homeless shelter, or whatever; no door is the wrong door for someone to come in and we will provide the services. We will work out where that person gets their services, the exact funding issue, and where they go and all that. The patient doesn't need to know about that and we just direct them through and get the service.
It's different working in the OSI system. You have to qualify for an OSI-related condition to qualify for treatment at the OSI clinic. Now, honestly, we do stretch the definitions of what we're allowed to treat and we try to give as much service as we can, but in reality, the service is not as timely as people would need. From the time they are referred to the time they do an intake there is a waiting time to see a psychologist and a waiting time to see a psychiatrist. The wait times can appear deceivingly good, but in reality they may not be as good as you think they are.
If we treat them basically the same way as we treat other mental health conditions and other people, regardless of whether one has served in the military or not.... The OSI clinics really need to broaden their scope to treat whatever comes in that door, and the member should not have to worry about applying, worry about funding, and whether they qualify or not. We can work that out later among ourselves.