Holding out hope for someone who may not be able to carry it for themselves.
This is something that we as peer supporters often do for those we speak with. What about our family? Our family is who we NEED to have hope for us, and who will be the ones to carry us through the dark days.
When someone is injured in any way, be it physically or psychologically, we know the family carries much of the weight in the recovery process. For a psychological injury it isn't as obvious what our families can do for us, yet what you do is so important.
You maintain the hope that we will recover and encourage us to keep seeking out the kind of help that resonates with us. Maybe that means that we need to see a different professional, need help in actually "leaving" the house or encouragement to eat or to eat better, drink less or not use anything that would be harmful.
We need a reason to heal when despair is at its worst and we think we will never recover. At first this is because we are trying to get back to who we were, not understanding that the person we were isn't the person we need to be any longer. It's something we learn through time and healing, not something we can be told. Once we stop trying to go back in time, we need your patience and support to not try to be who we were in the past, but rather the better person we are evolving into because of our recovery.
There can also be a profound amount of anxiety involved with panic attacks that are horrible to go through and awful to witness. We may not notice symptoms decreasing over time, or lessening in intensity but maybe you as our family might. When you notice any improvements, it is so important to let us know. Your perspective may help and when recovery is acknowledged, it is an empowering feeling that change is happening with each and every effort we make to heal and hearing that change is happening from someone close to us not only validates us but also helps give us strength for future change as well. . When you are there to remind us of how we were 1 month ago, or 6 months ago, helps us to know that we are getting better and there is no reason to think it won't continue to get better.
That ability to lend perspective when we don't have it is such a gift and is the most important thing you can often do for someone with an OSI.
Our family and friend group’s target demographic:
The spouses/partners, family members and close friends of 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, 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, and Tow Truck drivers who clean up accident. 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.