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Canadian Hospital launches mobile health app for service personnel

Intended to offer convenient support to operational stress injury sufferers

The Royal logoThe Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal) has launched a new mobile app to assist personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMG) with operational stress injuries (OSIs).

The app, called OSI Connect, provides information and assistance for people living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other types of OSIs, as well as their family members.

Speaking about how they hope the app will make support for sufferers easier to access, Bruce Phillips, CD, operational stress Injury social support (OSISS) peer support coordinator, NCR & Petawawa (Ontario) said: “It has been my experience that it is difficult for someone with mental health problems to step forward, let alone a soldier, so my hope for OSI Connect is that self awareness hopefully breeds self determination and with OSI Connect, the troops can do that from their living rooms or the mountains in Afghanistan.”

“This mobile app is a new channel for veterans and serving personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP to get information and resources on operational stress injuries without any stigma,” said George Weber, president and CEO of The Royal, the only specialised mental health and academic health sciences centre of the OSI Clinic Network.

“We hope it will encourage those who are suffering the very painful and disturbing effects of operational stress injuries and who may not be aware of services or how to go about getting help.”

It is not rare for those retiring from active military life to suffer from OSI with no one outside the family knowing. Learning to live with OSI can be very difficult for the person directly affected and their entire family, while others become isolated from their closest friends and family altogether.

Canada has been a member of NATO since its inception in 1949. In March 2011 Canadian Forces participated in NATO-led missions in Libya and in June this year Canadian soldiers left for the country's final mission in Afghanistan.

OSI clinics specialise in treating conditions that arise from combat, high stress or operational fatigue. Each clinic has a dedicated professional team that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, and other specialised clinicians who provide assessment, treatment, prevention and support. They use their knowledge of the military and police environments to develop personalised OSI treatment plans.

OSI Connect is free and available in English and French (Connexion TSO) from iTunes, BlackBerry and Android app stores.

19th July 2013

From: Marketing



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