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Bellwood Draws on Founder′s Legacy to Provide Canadian Soldiers with Effective Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Addictions

July 15, 2009

Trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use problems often co-occur, especially in employees of hazardous occupations. As members of the Canadian Forces return from Afghanistan, it is becoming apparent that an increasing number of soldiers require treatment for these complex problems. According to the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, up to one in five Canadian soldiers are returning from Afghanistan with PTSD or other operational stress injuries (OSI). Affected soldiers return from their deployment with increased levels of hyper-vigilance, disturbed sleep, irritability, anger, panic, and hopelessness. In order to cope, many soldiers turn to heavy drinking or drug use.

Bellwood Health Services provides support for members of the Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada with a concurrent treatment program for PTSD/Trauma and Addiction. Bellwood′s holistic, comprehensive program is offered by a team of experienced PTSD/trauma and addiction treatment professionals who provide each client with:
ˇ A confidential and thorough trauma and addiction assessment
ˇ An intensive trauma and addiction treatment program designed specifically for the unique needs of the military
ˇ Medical care provided by a medical team including addiction medicine physicians, consulting psychiatrists, a team of registered and psychiatric nurses and registered practical nurses
ˇ Ongoing crisis support and continuing care

This program is also available to employees of hazardous occupations, including police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel.

Bellwood has a long and successful history of treating PTSD and trauma concurrently with addictions. While an Army Captain, Bellwood′s founder, Dr. Gordon Bell, developed psychological retraining programs for the military during WWII to treat those soldiers suffering from what was then called "shell shock." Dr. Bell′s interest in addictions developed from this work. Bellwood′s experience as a provider of addiction treatment to members of the Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada helped shape the concurrent PTSD/trauma and addictions program. According to Anne Pepper, Bellwood′s supervisor of the PTSD/Trauma and Addiction Program, "Our long history with the military has been invaluable in helping us understand the needs of soldiers as they begin to overcome the trauma they′ve experienced while serving their country." As a result, Bellwood continues to be a valued preferred provider of treatment for Canada′s military.

Bellwood is celebrating its 25th year of serving Canadians with quality addiction treatment. The late Dr. Gordon Bell and his daughter Linda Bell, opened the Bellwood doors in Toronto in 1984, and have been working with individuals and families who are experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, sex, gambling, eating disorders, and PTSD/trauma. For more information on any of Bellwood′s treatment programs, visit or contact Julie Bowles at (416) 847-0751.


For more information contact:
Julie Bowles
Manager, Business Development
Bellwood Health Services
Phone: 416-847-0751

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