Expansion and Evaluation of the Before Operational Stress Project (BOS)

Watch the BOS promotional video.

Get an introduction to the BOS training and study.

The Expansion and Evaluation of the Before Operational Stress (BOS) project offers evidence-informed training to public safety personnel and frontline healthcare workers across Canada who are regularly exposed to psychologically traumatic events and posttraumatic stress injuries in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada the original 2022-2023 initiative has served over 71,000 frontline workers. An extension to the project will offer the BOS program to an additional 1500 participants in a new and improved online format.

The new BOS online program hosts all the original program content with the following upgrades:

  • Updated production

  • Additional Clinicians

  • New guests offering lived frontline experience from EMS, Law Enforcement, Fire, and Healthcare

  • Special versions for the PSP and healthcare sectors

The BOS online program is ideal for the nontraditional schedules of frontline organizations.

  • Participants complete at their own pace, at a time that works best for them.

  • Ideal solution for flexibility in mental health training.

  • Self-directed modality with opportunities for in-depth, self-reflective practice and implementation.

Full organizational implementation supports are available. Contact bosadmin@wayfound.ca for further information on how you can bring BOS to your organization through this limited-time, funded opportunity.

Project News

At the upcoming 2023 CIMVHR Conference on October 17th, Nicole Bolt, PhD will present the current outcomes of the BOS training program from 10:45-11:05. Following that presentation, Gabriela Ioachim, PhD will discuss the experiences of participants who completed the BOS training programs between 11:05-11:25. If you are interested in seeing these presentations in person you can register for CIMVHR: Register – CIMVHR Forum 2023     

The Before Operational Stress (BOS) project offers evidence-informed training to public safety personnel, frontline, and healthcare workers across Canada who are regularly exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events and at higher risk for developing posttraumatic stress injuries. The entire program was updated to be offered in an online format, allowing participants to complete the course in any location and at their own pace.

*This poster presents engagement in BOS across different public safety sectors. Please note that this poster was presented at the CIPHER Collaboration Conference (CCC 2023) and the results have not been peer-reviewed.

We are excited to share that the Expansion and Evaluation of the Before Operational Stress program has received extended funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada until March 2024. The new funding will support the development and distribution of the updated BOS training from Wayfound, and allow CIPSRT to conduct an independent evaluation of BOS. This extension marks a significant step forward, enabling Wayfound to refine the training program with upgraded production, a bolstered team of clinicians, compelling new guest speakers, and the development of specialized resources to meet the needs of both Public Safety Personnel and Healthcare Workers. With the new funding, CIPSRT will also continue to conduct independent evaluations of the effectiveness of the BOS program and contribute to crucial research.

BOS has been shown to have a small but significant positive impact on the mental health of Public Safety Personnel (read the full study here – https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.511755) and we look forward to expanding on this research with more extensive studies and more options for BOS delivery modalities.

We are grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada for their steadfast commitment to advancing mental health research and supporting projects aimed at aiding Canadian Public Safety Personnel and Healthcare Workers

Read the full CIPSRT news release: CIPSRT | We are happy to announce a funding extension agreement has been reached with the Public Health Agency of Canada (cipsrt-icrtsp.ca)

Project Resources

BOS Audiogram

As we near the end of the funding period, we take a moment to recognize and celebrate the dedicated efforts of the BOS project. Explore the unique focuses of BOS and discover the invaluable resources they have developed.

PSP Mental Health Training Showcase

In October 2023, CIPHER hosted a webinar focusing on specialized mental health training programs for Public Safety Personnel (PSP). Representing the BOS team, Dr. Ioachim and Dr. Bolt shared insights into the PHAC-funded BOS project. If you missed this session and would like to learn more you can watch the BOS presentation here.

Lessons Learned

“It’s extremely important to make sure that our leaders, our organizations, and our governments support PSP and healthcare workers who are trying to get these trainings.”  

Hear from Gabriella Ioachim about the lessons that BOS learned. 

BOS Training Modules

Get an introduction to the different modules covered in BOS and how they are presented.

BOS Poster Presentation - CIPHER Collaboration Conference 2023

View a poster about engagement in BOS across different public safety sectors. Please note that this poster was presented at the CIPHER Collaboration Conference (CCC 2023) and the results have not been peer reviewed.

BOS Resiliency Training

BOS provides immediate support through a resiliency-based training program that empowers first responders and other Public Safety Personnel (PSP), frontline workers, and healthcare workers to care for their mental health.

BOS Participant Information

The University of Regina conducted an independent research study to evaluate the BOS program. Here is who participated in the study.

Be the BOS of your mental health.

At this time individuals cannot directly register in BOS training. However, your organization can email Wayfound at bosadmin@wayfound.ca to register in the program. Once your organization has joined you are eligible to participate in BOS training.

Current Project Team

Gabriela Ioachim, PhD: Project Lead

Nicholas Carelton, PhD R.D. Psych: Principal Investigator

Kirby Maguire, BA: Co-investigator

Donna Dowler, B. Ed, PMP, TOGAF9, ICD.D: Project Manager

Kathy Bélanger, PhD: Post-Doctoral Fellow

Megan McElheran, R.Psych: Senior Supervising Clinician

Andrii Shulgin, MSc: Research Assistant

Jilani Dabhoya, BSc: Research Assistant