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Communicating our way to a better place

"Hypervigilance is a state of elevated alertness. Hypervigilance is one of the central features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I was introduced to hypervigilance 23 years ago, although I had no idea that was what it was. About six months post release from the military and his tour to Bosnia, my spouse was in a state of constant alertness. Checking and rechecking doors and windows to make sure they were locked, needing to know where I was at all times, questioning whether the kids were safe, and the list went on. For several years this was our reality, and was very normal for us.

What I didn’t realize was how this hypervigilance was transferring to me. I too was now on constant alert for possible triggers that might create chaos in our home. Were the kids being too loud? Would this family function be too overwhelming and crowded? Did the cleaner I was using have bleach in it? My spouse had several smell triggers, bleach being one of them.

This state of my own heightened alert went on for many years. I now call it my survival mode. And it got me through. What I didn’t realize was how exhausting and depleting it was to my mind and body. It was not until years and a few counsellors later that the light bulb went on – I couldn’t control everything, nor could I fix my spouse or the create the perfect environment for him to live in. I was tired.

It did not just switch on, it was a process of increased awareness each time I realized I was trying to control the environment around my spouse. What helped most was communication between us. We found solutions that we both agreed upon that would help all of us work through this next phase of letting go of the control ..."

For more on this Blog from the Atlas Institute, click here!

Our mission is to inspire hope and contribute to the continuous well-being and recovery process of Veterans and Front Line Protectors across Canada.

We seek to empower and encourage them to strive for recovery through peer and professional support while creating greater public awareness.

We at OSI-CAN do not see PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a Disorder, we see it as an Injury you can recover from. If you are suffering from the symptoms of an Occupational or Operational Stress Injury, then a PTSD or PTSI diagnosis is not required to get our help

The target demographic of OSI-CAN are but are not limited to: former and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Allied Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Frontline Protectors --- which include Municipal Police Services, CN Police Services, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Protection Services, Wildland Firefighters, Hospital Trauma personnel, Nurses, healthcare Workers, Social Workers, Animal Control Officers, Coroners, Indigenous Emergency Management, Victim Services Personnel, Emergency Communications Specialist, Corrections Officers, “Volunteer” First Responders, Conservation Officers, Aboriginal Emergency Services personnel, Tow Truck drivers who clean up accident scenes and their spouses/partners. This demographic was chosen due to the commonality of experiences they share through the service they provide to the country and community. We have a special interest and support volunteer first responders as they are not eligible for programs such as Workers' Compensation.

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PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub

PSPNET Families is an online wellbeing hub designed to support the specific yet diverse challenges faced by families of public safety personnel (PSP). We provide a wide range of resources. Information


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