News Release Article from  Veterans Affairs Canada

Archived - Enhancement of the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program

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  • The Government of Canada will invest $7.26 million over six years, and $1.56 million each year thereafter, to enhance the Operational Stress Injuries Social Support (OSISS) program.
  • The OSISS program is valuable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it offers "no red tape" access to support services. To access this program, there is no need to be deemed eligible for support and family members can request help without the consent of the CAF member or Veteran. This may be critically important in situations where the CAF member or Veteran doesn’t yet admit to having a mental illness.
  • In all, 15 new peer support coordinator positions will be created, providing an additional three full-time equivalent positions in each region. Five of these positions will be dedicated to increasing the program’s outreach capacity, which will grow by 20%.
  • The OSISS program was created in 2001, as a result of a partnership between the Department of National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
  • OSISS provides outreach and confidential peer support to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, Veterans and their families who have been impacted by an operational stress injury (OSI).
  • Peer and family support coordinators are typically former CAF members who have firsthand experience with OSIs and the potential issues they create.
  • OSISS also breaks down barriers to care such as lack of knowledge and the stigma that is sometimes associated with mental illness.

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