As members of different organizations and professions, we experience trauma in unique ways because our roles are often different. However, the effect of trauma manifests itself in very similar ways. An operational stress injury (OSI) is any ongoing psychological difficutly that has arisen from duties performed during military, emergency, fire or police service.
Operational stress injury shows up in our lives as depression, anxiety, addiction, and anger management problems – it leaves us and our families behind in the wake of its destruction with limited support and resources available to assist us. Injuries caused by operational stress and trauma have always been a part of warfare, first response and emergency work. These are the wounds not caused by an identifiable source, but those that injure the mind or the spirit. These wounds too, can be fatal. A constant low level of operational stress – especially in the context of futility or defeat – can lead to evacuation for sheer fatigue or an obvious physical illness such as muscular tremor, vomiting or diarrhea.
Our symposiums allow like-minded people to come together and talk about programs and services currently accessible to frontline service providers. Together, we can find ways to move forward collectively.