Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS)
Operational Stress Injuries (OSIs) are very real and have always been a part of military history. These invisible wounds that injure the mind and spirit can be just as fatal as physical wounds. Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) offers support by listening to those who are suffering, drawing on similar experiences, and providing assistance and guidance using resources available from the Department of National Defence (DND), Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), and the community.
Serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and their families, affected by an OSI are eligible to participate in OSISS.
OSISS is a joint program between DND and VAC. Created by CAF personnel and their family members who experienced first-hand the effects of an OSI, it is a confidential, non-clinical, peer-based, social support program that helps individuals return to a healthier quality of life.
The mission of OSISS is to establish, develop and improve social support programs for CAF members, veterans, and their families affected by an OSI. It also provides education and training within the CAF community to create an understanding and acceptance of OSIs.
Peer Support Coordinators are available at more than 20 locations across Canada. These are trained, former CAF personnel and CAF family members who have firsthand experience with an OSI.
The Peer Support Coordinators have the knowledge and resources to help OSI sufferers. They can put them in contact with staff at VAC and/or the CAF who can address issues surrounding release, pension, or treatment. They can help to access specially designed OSI Programs or other community resources.
The Peer Support Coordinator will listen, make suggestions and leave the choices to the individual. An OSI sufferer does not have to face his/her recovery alone.
- Peer Support Coordinators and can be reached toll free at 1-800-883-6094
- For more information on OSISS, visit the OSISS website
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