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BSO Legion OSI

Help Support Veterans with Mental Injuries and Illness

The Legion Operational Stress Injury Special Section (BSO Legion OSI) is looking for Legion members to join the Section and help make a difference for Veterans affected by mental illness and operational stress injuries.

Mental illness is one of the most widespread health issues in Canada, and The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to ensuring Veterans and their families have access to the supports and services they need. BSO Legion OSI is a national, member-driven initiative working to support and strengthen the Legion’s ability to respond to the needs of the Veteran community.

BSO Legion OSI is a peer support network that will provide enhanced outreach, support and referral services for Veterans and their families who are affected by operational stress injuries including anxiety, depression, addictions, PTSD or other mental health issues. In addition to helping Veterans get the support and assistance they need, BSO Legion OSI promotes mental health information, helps dispel the stigma of mental illness, and supports Legion advocacy efforts.

Membership in BSO Legion OSI is open to any Legion Member who is a Veteran, or direct family member of a Veteran. Members support the BSO Legion OSI mandate by:

  • coordinating and conducting outreach activities in the community
  • helping to identify and refer any Veteran or their family member who needs help with an OSI issue to a Legion Command Service Officer for support
  • providing information on local programs and resources that may be of help
  • promoting mental health information and helping dispel the stigma of mental illness, and
  • supporting advocacy efforts and information sharing at the Branch, Provincial Command and National levels

To join BSO Legion OSI or for questions about the Section, please email Members will be asked to provide a photo of their Legion membership card to confirm eligibility.

For more information, please see the BSO Legion OSI brochure.

Together we can work to support to some of our most vulnerable Veterans.

What are Operational Stress Injuries?

Operational Stress Injuries (OSIs) are defined by The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre as “any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational duties performed while serving in the Canadian Forces or as a member of the RCMP.”

Difficulties may occur during combat duties, after serving in a warzone or in peacekeeping missions. Problems may also arise following other traumatic or serious events not specific to combat such as domestic operations, disaster relief, aid to civil power, sexual assault or harassment etc. OSIs often present as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Moral Injury, other anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders and other conditions that may interfere with daily functioning.

About one-fifth of Canadian Veterans experience a diagnosed mental health disorder at some time during their lives.

The Legion can help.