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About OSIs and PSTD

According to Veterans Affairs, an operational stress injury (OSI) is any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the military or police service. 


An OSI is a term used to describe a wide range of issues which can include psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other conditions that interfere with daily life.


In policing, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital, says that Canadian police officers are disproportionately affected by mental illness when compared to the general population.


In a 2018 discussion paper on police mental health, it found that 36.7% of officers with municipal or provincial services, and just over half of those with the RCMP reported current symptoms of mental illness, compared to 10% in the general population.


According to the CAMH research:


“PTSD is one of the most widely recognized anxiety disorders experienced by police. PTSD emerges following exposure to traumatic events that involve actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others. Symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance and aggression usually occur within 3 months of exposure to trauma, but sometimes take years to appear. PTSD can be triggered by a single traumatic event or may develop after repeated exposure to multiple traumas.”

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