You don't need to be a member of the Legion to request help for a veteran in need. We can help you get the VAC forms filled out to help you qualify for benefits from VAC. Our duty is to serve veterans -- Canada's Armed Forces and RCMP Veterans.
Some discounts are available at merchants online or in stores for veterans, seniors and students with proper IDs.
In late 2014 Citadel Canine was approached by retired Canadian Army Major Hilaire (Nick) Nicolas, who wanted to raise funds to acquire PTSD service dogs for newer military veterans, as a way to celebrate his 70th birthday. Major Nick decided that a pledge based walk along the Rideau Trail from Kingston to Ottawa would do the trick. In the early Summer of 2014, this unique walk was undertaken. The walk set a new record at just 10m days to complete the nearly 360K distance. This walk needed a name, and after much discussion, the committee supporting Major Nick`s walk settled on BOOTS 4 PUPS as the tag line for the walk. This term has lasted, and is now the official title for the volunteer committee spawned by Major Nick`s walk. The Boots 4 Pups committee organizes and runs local events to raise funds to train and deliver service dogs to both new veterans, AND first responders, inc: Police, Fire, EMT, Nursing, and 9-1-1 personnel.
Osgoode Legion is a proud sponsor to Boots 4 Pups with their annual raffle proceeds being donated to them. We are supported in this raffle by Manotick and Barrhaven Legion Branches.
Osgoode Branch was contacted through their Facebook Page by Gulf War Veteran Sgt Erin Kinsey about a new organisation located in the NCR called Women Warriors’ Healing Garden. This registered non-profit has been established to assist women with PTSD. Focussing on female Veterans, it also welcomes other women who seek assistance as there are limited programs uniquely designed for the specific needs of women with PTSD.
Founder Erin Kinsey met with Comrades Jill Carleton and Comrade Gail Burgess in May 2017 to present her organisation and explained the fundamental concepts which include peer support, gardening (vegetables are donated to The Well), chickens (which can be sponsored; eggs are collected and donated to The Well).
A preliminary presentation about the organisation was made at the monthly meeting on May 15th where we discussed various ways the branch might be able to support this organisation. Since then, the Branch has donated financial and through volunteers to this organisation.
Dr. Erin Kinsey, PH.D, Sgt (ret’d) President of Women Warriors Healing Garden, and Dr. Elaine Waddington Lamont, PHD, Secretary
Osgoode Legion partners with the Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) to provide assistance to seniors in our community. Our BINGO profits go towards providing services to seniors and youth.
A Friendly Voice/ Une Voix Cordiale
ROSSS is now offering a friendly visiting phone line for seniors called "A Friendly Voice". This services is 24/7. 30% of seniors feel lonely on a regular basis. Now there is always someone for seniors to talk to.
Call A Friendly Voice
During fall 2015 and winter 2016, the Legion was approached by a group of veterans with a proposal for a virtual section that would focus interested Legion members affected by Operational Stress Injuries on a program to enhance the mental health assistance and support provided by the Legion to all veterans and their families affected by Operational Stress Injuries. Included in the concept, the Section would develop advocacy and other programs to assist in breaking down stigma around Operational Stress Injuries, and assist those who have not received assistance, have not been able to ask for assistance, or for other reasons have not been able to get assistance.
The Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Special Section was ratified at the 46th Dominion Command National Convention in June 2016. Ratification represented the starting line for planning for the Section. Operating as a National entity and as part of Dominion Command, the Section has approximately 150 members who communicate on Facebook as part of a closed group. There are two member groups – one is a formal group which is used for business notices and information (minutes of meetings, etc) and the other as a chat room (think of sitting over a coffee or over a beer after a meeting and throwing ideas around).
Membership in the OSI Special Section (known informally in its bilingual title BSO Legion OSI) and, by extension, membership in OSI Special Section social media sites, is restricted to current Members in good standing of the Royal Canadian Legion who are:
- Veterans as defined in the Legion General By Laws Article 1: 101 d which defines A Veteran is any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a regular member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a special duty area or on a special duty operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime; or
- An Ordinary member or Associate who has an immediate family member (parent, spouse, child) who both is a Veteran and is afflicted by an OSI; or
- An Associate or Affiliate who is the caregiver of a Veteran afflicted by an OSI; or
- An Ordinary member, Associate or Affiliate who is an accredited health or counselling professional and who specializes in OSIs or addictions, with approval of the Executive.
What Progress Have We Made ?
The Executive and Advisory Panel has had a busy summer conducting strategic planning and developing a business plan for 2017. A corporate donation from Veteran / Business Owner/ Legion member HLCol Tom Newell has provided us with significant operation funds to start up the Section for the remainder of 2016 and the 2017 year. This will allow for establishment of a web platform to expand our presence outside of Facebook, copyright of our logo, printing of information, and other start up costs. Provincial representatives have been identified for most provinces. A draft strategic plan will be ready by end September that includes specific programs around Mental Health First Aid, Advocacy issues, Reduction of Stigma, and other program lines. Once the 2017 Business Plan and 2017-2022 Strategic Plan are in place, Elections will be held in early 2017 to allow for a membership confirmed Executive.
So what is an OSI ?
Most of us will already recognize the term PTSD or PTSI (Post traumatic stress disorder or Post traumatic stress injury), but there are many other types of OSI that come from exposure to catastrophic events and situations. Anxiety and depression are two others.
Exposure to these events or situations can happen anywhere – inside Canada, outside Canada, during a recovery operation, in a war zone, during a peacekeeping operation, and as a first responder to a crisis or to an accident – and these are just some examples. Symptoms can appear soon after the incident or years later. They can reappear near the anniversary. There is no prioritization of who deserves assistance nor any judgement of whether it is a real illness or not. Each case is real and each case requires treatment. What is important is that the person affected by the symptoms (and his or her family) knows what assistance is available and knows how to ask for it. Veterans Affairs Canada provides a 24/7 assistance line for those who need assistance and don’t know where to turn. When in crisis, 911 is always a good option.
Legion Service Officers also have resource information and are equipped to assist with documentation around what is available and to make connections for those who need assistance.
Submitted by Jill Carleton, CD
President, BSO Legion OSI and
Ordinary Member , Osgoode Branch #589
PTSD Takes It's Toll
Mission Butterfly delivers programs to treat Post Traumatic Stress, PTSD and related conditions. For the most part, their focus is on positive psychology, natural medicine and complementary healing techniques that address the whole person in mind, body and spirit.