Occupational Therapy and Operational Stress Injuries
Canadian military personnel work in unique circumstances compared to the general Canadian population, and, through work-related exposures, may acquire both physical and mental injuries. Military personnel often perform job duties at their own personal risk and while under exceptional stress, which can lead to operational stress injuries (OSIs) being sustained during service. The term OSI captures the mental injuries sustained by military personnel; it is defined as "any persistent psychological difficulty resulting from operational duties performed" and describes "a broad range of problems, which include diagnosed psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other conditions that may be less severe, but still interfere with daily functioning" (VAC, 2016, para. 8)....Occupational therapists are health-care professionals who are uniquely suited to assisting such individuals to minimize the impact of OSIs on daily life, and they are authorized providers of extended health benefits for both military members and Veterans.