Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get referred to the clinic?

See our page explaining OSIs and the referral process. You need to be referred by a specially authorized clinician to come here.

How long will I wait for services?

New referrals are evaluated for urgency and other factors. Once your referral is received, you will be contacted within 1 – 2 business days and the intake nurse will discuss the soonest possible time for an intake appointment. Our objective is to set an initial appointment within 10 business days (2 weeks) of getting a referral. Because of the high demand for our services, we encourage you to make yourself as available as possible for the initial appointment.

Am I eligible to use the clinic?

Your referral source at VAC, the CF, or the RCMP will decide whether you are eligible to come here. Once referred, you will get an intake appointment where a basic assessment of your concerns will be made. In a small number of cases, a person’s presenting issues and health history make it clear that military or police service has not been the primary cause of their concerns. In these situations, we provide information on other services that may be more suitable for them.

Will going to the OSI Clinic hurt my military career?

This is a common fear. Getting treated for an OSI does not mean your career will end. Most patients in the clinic who are still in the Forces or the RCMP discover that their careers are enhanced by the improvement in their coping abilities and quality of life. It is important to note that the decision to have someone leave the forces is made by the CF or the RCMP, not by the clinic. It is best to discuss this issue with your base or wing Medical Officer.

How many appointments do I get?

At the start of treatment, we develop a treatment contract with each individual, which establishes an initial commitment. As we work with people, we eventually reach a point where both they and their service provider agree that services are no longer needed. At that point they both decide to end the service.

Will I run into people I know at the clinic?

The clinic is a busy place, and there is a slim chance that you may run into a colleague in the waiting area. We find that all patients are respectful and discreet, however if you are uncomfortable we have alternate waiting areas.

Does the clinic have inpatient beds?

We provide only outpatient services, and are not connected to any inpatient programs. In some circumstances we will determine whether an inpatient program is more appropriate, although the OSI Clinic’s staff do not make the final decision. If a person’s health deteriorates noticeably, they should call a crisis team or go to emergency where the decision to admit is made by the attending physician.

Can I come on a walk-in basis?

No. Because of our size and the demand for services, we are unable to accommodate drop-in appointments. If you have already been to the clinic for at least one appointment, you can call your therapist and request an earlier appointment, if available. However if you are very distressed you should call the crisis service or go to emergency. Otherwise all services are by scheduled appointment.

Are you open evenings or weekends?

We are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.

I am concerned about a family member who may have an OSI. What should I do?

You may be noticing changes in behaviour that may indicate your loved one has been severely affected by a stressful experience. If you cannot discuss it with your family member directly, you should first talk to his or her family physician to report your concern. If you have more general questions, or if you want more information about what the behaviour may mean, we do provide brief consults to family members.

What kind of services can family members get?

See our page on services for families.