• ronleyarnold

Unconditional support is similar to unconditional love. We love our kids and as they grow and become young adults, then adults we often don’t agree with some of their decisions but our love is steadfast.

Peer Support is similar, it doesn’t matter about our background, everyone is equal around the table and we are all there to provide our support to each other.

How often when meeting someone for the first time, a protocol of talking about things of general interest takes place. The conversation then graduates into other areas of mutual interest and a comfort zone begins to be established. It is at that point a more personal conversation begins. Peer Support provides a safe zone, an area where no one is judgemental as we have all been there to varying degrees.

Peer Support derives its power from the group.

Peer Support Group Leader, Leigh

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  • ronleyarnold

The below noted is for the purpose of creating a dialogue internally within ourselves or during a support group meeting.


How often have I felt that even with family and friends around me, a part of me isn’t there? It’s a distant feeling and yet for the most part it is one that is never far away. Since each one of us is different this can seem a minor irritation or one that presents a struggle to maintain balance.

In the context of Peer Support, everyone has a shared experience that bridges occupations where Occupational Stress Injury is a factor. Whether a person comes from a military background or in the field of being a first responder. We are all equals. The experiences are different but the impact is the same. Many times not only is the support in listening but in sharing of experiences in a positive way.

The Peer Support concept is based on support. To initiate Recovery we need to be able to control our comfort zones and move forward at our own pace.

“Am I alone” begs the question “Do I need to feel alone” and the answer is NO without question. The terms must be set individually to our own needs with a little bit of support from those who have shared experience. Peer Support provides a path to better cope and moves forward even though it might be small steps.

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  • ronleyarnold

Question: How does this relate to OSI-CAN and PEER Support?

Peer Support along with all the Clinical Support hopefully provides a new reference point, a new start, even though it may begin with baby steps. We all have individual starting points and how we move forward is the key.

I know in my personal life it is easy to get stuck at the Y in the road. To me that decision to move left or right is the difficult part. Once I make that decision based on all the pluses and minuses, along with other common-sense factors I am able to move forward.

Prairies to Peaks provides a template.

FIVE STEPS TO PROBLEM SOLVING … A problem is a situation or set of conditions that are preventing you from doing what you want to do.

  1. PROBLEM: Clearly identify and state the problem

  2. IMPACT: Identify how you are impacting the problem

  3. COST/BENEFIT: Explore the pros and cons of solving the problem

  4. BRAINSTORM: Come up with 3-5 ways to address the problem

  5. ACTION: Pick 1-2 ways to begin to address the problem and create an action plan

HOPE. The belief that you have the ability, the opportunity and the supports to engage in the recovery process and develop your meaning and purpose in life.

These are weekly topics that can be considered prior to our group meeting. It is meant to be available as a topic of discussion during the group meeting or for someone physically unable to attend the meeting but available to discuss via text, phone or just simple reflection.

Peer Support Group Leader, Leigh

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OSI-CAN Target Demographic

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, Hospital Trauma personnel, Nurses, Social Workers, Coroners, Indigenous Emergency Management, 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.