Alberta’s government is proud to support the brave Canadian sailors, soldiers and aviators who in active or former service have put the defence of Canada first in their lives.

That’s why the government is providing $750,000 per year for the next five years to support the Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC) program at the University of Alberta. HiMARC is focused on supporting military members, veterans, public safety personnel and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through new and innovative treatment options.

“There is no higher calling for a nation or government than to stand by those who have been willing to lay down their lives to defend it. Too often, Canada’s soldiers leave their service with mental scars. World-class research hosted by the University of Alberta and the work of HiMARC will help improve mental health outcomes for veterans and military personnel, and we’re proud to step up and support it. On behalf of Alberta’s government, thank you to all those serving or who have served our country.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“I am extremely proud of the cutting-edge research our government is facilitating through funding for the University of Alberta’s HiMARC program. It is only right that we support the needs of those who have received operation stress injuries in the service of their country and communities.  This funding commitment does just that supporting the ground-breaking research and treatment for PTSD being conducted here in Alberta.”

Brad Rutherford, government whip and liaison to the Canadian Armed Forces

PTSD is a serious health condition that is especially prevalent in military service and veteran populations. This funding will directly help Albertans who have made sacrifices for the province through their service while advancing research in this area of mental health. Ultimately, the results of this research will support a broad range of Albertans by offering new ways to treat mental health.

“This investment in research through HiMARC reflects the ongoing commitment to improve the health and quality of life of Canada’s veterans, military members, first responders and their families. By advancing and supporting 3MDR, we are able to offer our community members new ways to treat mental health. I look forward to working closely with our many partners on the next steps for 3MDR therapy.”

Suzette Brémault-Phillips, director, Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC), University of Alberta

What makes HiMARC unique is its use of 3MDR: a structured, repetitive, psychotherapeutic process. This treatment uses treadmill walking while using proven psychotherapy interventions and virtual reality technology to process traumatic events into memories. Clients physically walk on a treadmill throughout the treatment process where they are immersed into a virtual reality environment with a therapist by their side.

“This new investment in HiMARC will make a difference in the lives of many military members, veterans and first responders who have given so much to our community and our province. It’s another wonderful example of taking research and applying it to real-world situations to make life better for everyone.”

Bill Flanagan, president and vice-chancellor, University of Alberta

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • Studies have shown that while traditional forms of therapy and medication treatment can help treat PTSD, up to two-thirds of clients will retain their diagnosis.

  • Initial randomized trials and international clinical trials have shown 3MDR to be clinically effective in treating PTSD, even for some patients who have been identified as having treatment-resistant PTSD.