Important Information in Response to COVID-19
Members with Operational Stress Injuries Navigate the Road to Wellness

Members with Operational Stress Injuries Navigate the Road to Wellness

The OSISS program helps those who need it to tap into a community and the compassion and experience of their peers.

The holidays can be a difficult time for some, and this year may be exceptionally difficult given the COVID-19 pandemic. Living with an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) can make these times even more challenging.

Support Our Troops is proud to work with the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program, which provides a national peer support network for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, Veterans and their families who are experiencing the challenges of an OSI. Those impacted are able to connect with trained peers who can provide an understanding ear, help set goals and assist with access to effective resources.

The road to wellness can be hard to navigate, and overtime can take a toll on one’s mental health and their family, and can eventually lead to burnout. The OSISS Program is comprised of a team of peers, who have experienced an OSI themselves. This program helps those who need it tap into a community and the compassion and experience of their peers.

In addition to peer support, those experiencing the challenges of an OSI can also participate in a retreat. These retreats provide opportunities for families to: engage with other families who are going through a similar situation; learn new coping skills; be in a safe environment; and learn about other resources within the community that may be able to offer assistance.  Last year, nine retreats were held across Canada and attended by 198 family members.

“Thank you for the wonderful weekend. I had no idea that the information you provided me would have such an impact on me. My husband always said to everyone that I was his rock.  This weekend I found out that his rock was starting to form cracks. When I saw the green chart for healthy, yellow for reacting, orange for injured, and red for ill, it was then that I realized I was in the yellow zone. It really scared me when I totally realized that my husband was in the red zone. How was I going to help him when I myself was forming more cracks? It really hit home when I had to write that letter to myself. Then I realized the only way I can repair those cracks is through coping and self-care. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Military spouse

This year, due to COVID 19, the OSISS team will conduct webinars such as Children and Trauma, the OSI Couple, the Resilient Child, Sleep and Stress, the “Reset” Workshop and Self-Care to keep their members engaged safely. Three sessions have been completed to date with a total of 250 participants. If you are interested in learning more, please contact: OSISS-SSBSO@forces.gc.ca

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