What are Operational Stress Injuries?

Operational Stress Injury (or “OSI”) is a phrase used in Canada to refer to mental health concerns and symptoms that can appear after duty-related trauma and stress. OSIs can include mental health concerns such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, or substance abuse and dependence.

Not all mental health concerns are OSIs. People who are involved in public safety careers can develop PTSD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues, or other mental health concerns, any of which could be related, or not related, to their service. For example, these mental health concerns can develop following a potentially traumatic event that occurs off-duty in your personal life. OSIs are specific to issues and problems related to deployment and duty.

Not every person who serves in public safety will develop an OSI, but OSIs may be more common among public safety personnel than previously thought. A recent Canadian survey found that up to 44.5% of participating public safety personnel reported symptoms consistent with one or more mental health concerns based on established screening questionnaires.

Click here for information about OSI treatment options available across Canada.

On this website you will find information about some OSIs, including PTSD. Click through to learn about what PTSD is, how it is treated, and how to access resources if you or someone you know needs help.

References and further reading