Who are we?
Legion OSI is a national, member-driven, peer-support network, providing eligible Legion members with the opportunity to support and advocate for Veterans and their Families mental health.
“We want to work to de-stigmatize operational stress injuries so that those suffering and their families can get the help that they need. “By creating this Special Section within The Royal Canadian Legion, and maintaining a close working relationship with the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada, we believe that we can improve the support that Veterans and their families receive and strengthen the Legion’s ability to advocate for Veteran mental health issues.
What determines who the members are?
The OSI Special Section is open to Legion members in good standing, who are Veterans as defined by the Legion and who are effected by OSI.
Who is eligible to use this service?
Any veteran and their family is able to get assistance from the BSO - OSI Special Section or Royal Canadian Legion without being a legion or section member. This service is free of charge.
What are OSI's?
OSI’s are Psychological Difficulty Resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the
Canadian Armed Forces,
the Commonwealth or its wartime allies,
as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation,
as Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.
What is an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) as defined by the Royal?
Resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the Canadian Forces or as a member of the RCMP.
Where do the difficulties occur?
During Combat duties
After serving in a war zone
In peacekeeping missions
Following, other traumatic or serious events not specific to combat, these could include training accidents or injuries, sexual trauma and domestic operations ( search & rescue, disaster relief, aid to civil power/authority, military police etc)
Common operational stress injuries include, but are not limited to:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Other Anxiety Disorders
Substance Disorders and
Other conditions that may interfere with daily functioning.
There is a huge stigma associated with Mental Illnesses.
What is Stigma?
Stigma: is a negative stereotype - a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person - "the stigma of mental disorder”
Stigma means I don’t feel safe talking to employers, family, or friends about mental illness.
Mental Health Stigma is a reality for many people who suffer and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.
Mental health sigma means not being taken seriously and having your opinions dismissed.
The stigma of mental illness isolates people, and can prevent them from seeking help
What impact will Legion OSI have on the Legion?
The OSI special section is self sufficient.
They will manage their own operations thru their elected committee to include:
Administer member participation:
Member’s Fees ( Their is a $10.00 fee to become a member of BSO - OSI Special Section’s group of the RCL.) Please Note: DO NOT confuse the membership fee with a service fee to Veterans and their families. There is absolutely no charge to the Veteran or their family members. Membership fees provide start up funding for administrative purposes – pens, paper, pins, graphics and misc requirements such as but not limited to:
Communications and Activities. As a result of a generous personal donation, there will be no membership fees levied for the 2017 membership cycle.
Who are we, the members of BSO Legion OSI section?
We are Veterans and eligible members of the RCL who show our support and volunteer in the community.
We will support our mandate by:
Coordinating & Conducting Outreach Activities in the community,
Help to identify and refer any Veteran or their family member who needs help with an operational stress injury issue to the Legion’s Service Bureau for support.
We do already have some Service Bureau Officers in the Group.
Promote mental health information and helping dispel the stigma of mental illness; and
Support advocacy efforts and information sharing at the Branch, Provincial Command and National Levels.
As a special section of the Royal Canadian Legion, WE DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:
Act as a Case Manger,
Complete or File Member’s paperwork for Veterans Affairs,
Provide mental health Care.
Bottom line : Comrades, we refer those in need to the appropriate places or people for the help they require. We want to supplement the existing supports systems NOT replace or duplicate them.
Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Operational Stress Injuries are some of the least understood afflictions effecting Military and RCMP members, Veterans and First Responders.
As they are often left undiagnosed and/or misunderstood; or because symptoms often appear after release from service, Veterans are left on their own to seek help. To compound the challenge, the nature of the operational stress injuries often inhibits individuals from seeking help or accessing available resources.
We want to help, we will be peer support, Veterans Helping Veterans and their Families
The mental health challenges facing Veterans, including serving Military and RCMP members, and the impact it has on their families; are widespread and growing.
There is an identified and urgent need in the Veteran community to find new ways to identify and help those suffering from operational stress injuries.
BSO Legion OSI offers a new way to strengthen our ability to support and advocate for Veteran mental health and also to engage our membership.
About Us - French Page