How we're here for you

Keeping Hope Alive

The Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence partners with veterans and their families to lead a national community of care and shape the future of veteran-first chronic pain management. At the Centre of Excellence, we put veterans at the heart of everything we do: from setting the research agenda, to developing evidence-based practices, and helping veterans access care closer to home.

The Centre of Excellence partners with veterans and families to genuinely understand their unique challenges and day-to-day needs to manage their chronic pain, including exploring barriers to access care, veterans’ experiences with the discharge process from active service, the interchange between civilian and VAC healthcare services, and the intersection chronic pain has with mental illness and feelings of hopelessness and isolation.

Veterans are an essential part of our executive leadership, our Board of Directors, and make up our national Veterans Working Groups to ensure that we’re building a knowledge system that addresses the real-world needs of Canadian veterans and their families.

As the Centre of Excellence’s first step towards building a chronic pain system that works for veterans and their families, we will launch our Rapid Recommendations this summer. These Rapid Recommendations will be a shortlist of the current best practices that pain clinics and case managers can use to help veterans manage their chronic pain.

The Centre of Excellence’s activities, goals, and priorities are driven by our ongoing research, working with clinics to fine-tune best practices, and – most importantly – listening to veterans and their families. Over the long-term, the Centre of Excellence will be involved in initiating clinical trials to further develop new therapies for managing pain, growing the network of pain clinics and researchers across Canada, and continuously measuring the metrics associated with timely access to care and quality of life for veterans and their families.

Getting The Right Information

Veteran Resources

Once released from active military service, it can be hard to learn how to live independently. The Centre of Excellence has compiled a list of resources below to help veterans and their families access the care they need, and know what support is available. We regularly add new resources to this list, so veterans and their families can use this website as a central hub for information.

MyVAC Account

Your MyVAC Account is a simple and secure way to do business online with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), including applying for benefits, tracking the status of your applications, receiving mail, and connecting with VAC representatives.

Royal Canadian Legion

Your Royal Canadian Legion is committed to making a difference in the lives of Veterans and their families, providing essential services in our communities, and remembering the men and women who sacrificed for our country.

Operational Stress Injury Clinics (OSI)

Each operational stress injury clinic provides assessment, treatment, prevention and support to serving CAF members, Veterans and RCMP members and former members. Treatment options at each OSI clinic are on an outpatient basis only and include one-on-one therapy sessions and group sessions to address anxiety, insomnia, anger and other issues that are occurring as a result of a mental health disorder.

VAC Assistance Service

Call 1-800-268-7708 to speak to a mental health professional right now. A confidential and free service available 24/7 to Veterans, former RCMP members, their family members, or caregivers.

VAC Benefits Navigator

The Benefits Navigator is an online questionnaire to help identify the VAC programs and services you may be eligible to receive. The results include a brief explanation of each program, links to more information and, if available, a link to the application form.
Hear from veterans & families


Here about the challenges that veterans face in finding help and how much chronic pain management can help those who have served cope with their pain.

“The biggest thing I've learned is that pain doesn't control you, you can learn how to control the pain.”
John Brown
"Being a Vet in Edmonton, seeking to be seen at a pain clinic, has been impossible. It does not allow or offer me any seniority or priority here! I was put on a general public list, that I’ve been on for over 9 years and waiting, ever since I first requested a referral for help!”
“Veterans take care of each other, we save each other. That’s how it works. Veterans need to come together and talk with each other to build a better system that understands what we’re going through and what we need from the healthcare system. That’s why I’m excited about the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans.”
Derek Spiers
“I feel like I can breathe again.”
Marieanne Nyhuis
“Our Canadian Veterans of all ages and generations deserve the best services and care our Nation can provide. After all, they have accepted the solemn task of defending Canada and our values and if necessary lay down their lives for us. I am honoured to help stand up the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence as another means of giving our Veterans the care they need, they have earned and they deserve. As I and members of my family have accrued 86 years of service thus far – and counting – I am happy to serve on the Board with my colleagues.”
J.O. Michel Maisonneuve
Our National Network

At the Centre of Excellence, we understand the daily barriers to receive the proper care that Canada’s veterans and your families face every day. We are leading a national network of pain clinics that you can access through your benefits, so that you can have care closer to home. Discover clinics across Canada, which are implementing best practices in care and are part of our network.

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