The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program is the 2014 recipient of St. Joseph’s Partner of Distinction Award. This award recognizes partnership and collaboration – essential requirements of health care delivery and community service.
OSISS is a network of peer support personnel across Canada providing support to Canadian Forces, veterans and their families. A collaborative effort of the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada, the OSISS’s primary role is to provide a listening ear, understanding, respect and compassion to those experiencing operational stress injuries (OSI) as they begin their journey toward health. OSISS peer supporters are individuals who have either experienced firsthand what it is like to live with an OSI, or who live with someone with an OSI.
St. Joseph’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic (OSIC) at Parkwood Institute has enjoyed a long history of partnership with OSISS and together provide a unique, collaborative care model to individuals struggling with mental health injuries related to their military experience. Staff of the OSIC have been fortunate to work alongside OSISS peer support coordinator Michael Newcombe, who is actually onsite at OSIC working in separate yet often connected paths with clients and the OSIC team. The warmth, understanding and support provided by OSISS pave the way for referrals to the OSIC and mutually beneficial opportunities to serve clients.