Operational Stress Injury Clinic

The Royal’s OSI Clinic belongs to a national network of OSI clinics funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. It provides care and support to people living with OSIs and their families.

Common OSIs include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders, and other conditions that may interfere with daily functioning.

While it is normal to experience some form of distress after being exposed to a traumatic event, for some individuals, the symptoms persist. Help is available to those struggling with an OSI, and studies show that the earlier people seek help, the better their recovery can be.

Posttraumatic stress disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder is one of the most common OSIs. Although symptoms may begin directly following a traumatic experience, in other cases they appear years later.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • “Re-experiencing” the event in the form of nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive thoughts
  • Avoiding thoughts, feelings, or situations that serve as reminders of the event
  • Feeling numb or cut off from others
  • Being easily startled and
  • Being overly vigilant.

It is, however, never too late to seek treatment, and evidence suggests that recovery is possible even for those with chronic symptoms.

Our services

The Royal’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Ottawa is a specialized outpatient program that serves Canadian Forces veterans and current members, and eligible members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Family members of clients may also be eligible to access these services.

A team of clinicians with expertise in assessing and treating PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders helps clients improve their quality of life.

The clinic tailors therapy for PTSD and other OSIs to meet each client’s specific needs. Clients receive an initial comprehensive assessment, after which the client and healthcare provider collaborate to develop an individualized treatment plan.

Because every client’s needs are different, there is no set number of appointments for services at the clinic. Instead, the treatment plan that the client and healthcare provider develop establishes an initial commitment and a set of measurable goals.

The Royal’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic offers:

  • Comprehensive assessment of OSIs
  • Evidence-based OSI treatment with specialized individual, group, and couples’ therapy, as well as pharmacotherapy
  • Education to veterans, military members, and their families, as well as to other professionals and the general public

Therapy often includes a combination of medication and group or individual cognitive behavioural therapy. The OSI Clinic’s comprehensive approach to recovery includes interventions aimed at improving readiness for treatment, symptom reduction, and assistance with transitioning back into the community.

Referrals

To receive services at the clinic, Canadian Forces veterans and RCMP members require a referral.

  • Veterans: discuss a referral with your Veterans Affairs Canada case manager. If you do not have a case manager, call +1 (866) 522-2122 (English) or + 1 (866) 522-2022 (French) to inquire about your eligibility.
  • Canadian Forces: Those still serving should contact their Base Medical Officer.
  • RCMP members: Speak with someone in Health Care Services for a referral.

Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Forces, or the RCMP will determine whether you are eligible to receive services from the OSI Clinic.

Once you have been referred, you will participate in a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms, and the clinical team will make treatment recommendations that may include treatment at the OSI Clinic or, in some cases, another clinical service.

The Royal’s goal is to schedule an initial appointment within 15 business days of receiving a referral.

For more information about The Royal’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic, please call +1 (613) 722-6521 ext. 6270.

Resources

OSI Connect

The OSI Connect website and mobile app give veterans and serving personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP clear information about accessing OSI clinics across Canada. They also provide information and resources for people living with OSIs, their loved ones, and their community health care providers.

Operational Stress Injury Resource for Caregivers

The Operational Stress Injury Resource for Caregivers provides OSI education for family members and friends of people living with OSIs as well as self-care tools to support them in the role as caregiver.

What is an OSI?

An operational stress injury (OSI) is any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from duties performed while serving in the Canadian Forces or as a member of the RCMP. Difficulties may occur during combat duties or peacekeeping missions, after serving in a war zone, or following other traumatic events not specific to combat.