My name is Jag Soin. I have been a regular member for over twenty years in the force. Previous to that I served approx seven years in the Canadian Armed Forces.
In the course of my duties as a Peace Officer, I saw and dealt with too many human tragedies.
What bothers me most is the loss of two of my colleagues to Operational Stress Injury. Both of these brave members took their own lives and let me tell you they were among some of the toughest people I have known in my life. Both had young families.
During one of my northern postings, I started experiencing some of the severe symptoms of PTSD. Nightmares, flashbacks, lack of sleep, being short tempered with my wife and children. Still not knowing what was causing this. My personal life was falling apart.
Self medicating with alcohol just to get a few hours sleep and to deal with the severe anxiety. To save our family on the advise of my strong wife, I finally started to get the help I needed. Still due to the stigma attached to OSI and living in a small town, I would look over my shoulder to ensure no other member saw me going into the Psychologist’s office. This was 9 years ago.
It has been a very difficult journey for my family and I. There were several times when I thought I would never come out of the darkness, yet here I am. It was a lot of hard work on my part but I never would have been able to recover without the support of my wife and family. I still suffer but at least now I have the tools to cope.
Education is very important. Members and their families need to understand the early signs and symptoms of OSIs.
Let us work together and with the organization to educate each other, to build resilience to trauma and support each other to heal. Stay Strong.