Before Operational
Stress Program (BOS)

Proudly Partnered With
Wounded Warriors Canada

Be the BOS of Your Mental Health

Public safety personnel are exposed to operational stress every day, but the effects of operational stress don’t have to last a lifetime.

BOS is about empowering public safety employees to be in charge of the effects of operational stress, versus the effects of operational stress being in charge of them.

This program has been designed to serve and protect public safety personnel as they serve and protect us all.

Contact us for bulk pricing:  Contact Us

Why BOS?

Decrease the Effects of Operational Stress

  • Evidenced Based

    BOS uniquely combines theoretical and experiential learning procedures to decrease the effects of operational stress. Our evidence tells us we can mitigate the impact of public safety personnel’s work so that they can do their jobs without tragic consequences.

  • Impacting Lives

    While public safety employees will continue to be exposed to operational stress, they are not destined to have their lives ruined by the psychological effects of their work. BOS empowers public safety employees to take charge of their mental health.

  • BOS Objectives

    We know these employees need information to protect themselves from the effects of operational stress. Further, we know they need practice and support to incorporate this knowledge & these experiences into their operational roles.

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • How to Successfully Complete this Course:

    • Course Player Instructions

    • Download Instructions

  2. 2
    • Mental Health Support and Crisis Lines

    • Mental Health Resources - Find a Psychologist Right For You

  3. 3
    • Education Disclaimer

    • Intellectual Property and Copyright

  4. 4
    • BOS Learning Objectives

    • BOS References

  5. 5
    • BOS Digital Program Manual

  6. 6
    • Meet Your Instructors!

    • Instructor Bios

    • Special Guests

  7. 7
    • Learning Objectives

    • Welcome to BOS from Dr. Megan McElheran

    • BOS Terms of Engagement - Dr. Mila

    • Common Terms Related to Operational Stress

    • Module One Quiz - Let's Recap Those Terms!

    • Combat Research Facts - Dr. Andrew

    • Introduction to Stoicism - Dr. Megan

    • Stoic Origins Translating to Modern Times - Dr. Megan

    • A Modern Day Stoic Outcome

    • An Alternative Idea - Dr. Mila

    • Reflection Exercise

  8. 8
    • Learning Objectives

    • Introduction to the Brain: Survival and Homeostasis - Dr. Megan

    • Evolution of Brain Structures - Dr. Mila

    • Module 2 Quiz - Let's Recap the Brain!

    • Fight Flight Freeze - Dr. Mila

    • Circuitry Breakdown - Dr. Mila

    • Connecting the Dots and the Importance of Processing - Dr. Mila

    • Completing the Stress Cycle - Dr. Andrew

    • Dirty Socks

    • Reflection Exercise

  9. 9
    • Learning Objectives

    • Module 3 Introduction - Dr. Mila

    • Yerkes Dodson Curve - Dr Andrew

    • Window of Tolerance - Dr Andrew

    • Hyper and Hypo Arousal - Dr. Andrew

    • The Optimal Zone- Dr. Andrew

    • The Freeze Response- Dr. Andrew

    • Module 3 Quiz - Let's Recap the Window of Tolerance

    • The Window of Tolerance and Operational Stress - Dr Andrew

    • Hyper Arousal Recognized

    • In Summary - Dr. Megan

    • Module 3 Reflection Exercise

  10. 10
    • Learning Objectives

    • Module 4 Introduction - Dr. Megan

    • Cognitive Model - Dr. Andrew

    • ABCs of Thoughts Effecting Behaviour - Dr. Andrew

    • Automatic Thoughts - Dr. Andrew

    • Thinking Traps - Dr. Andrew

    • Thinking Traps Part 2 - Dr. Andrew

    • Module 4 Quiz - Let's Recap Thinking Traps!

    • The Call

    • Module 4 - Reflection Exercise

  11. 11
    • Learning Objectives

    • Introduction to Emotions - Dr. Megan

    • Influences on Emotion - Dr. Mila

    • Emotional Evolution Over the Course of Life - Dr. Mila

    • Module 5 Quiz - Recapping Emotional Ideas

    • Sadness - Dr. Mila

    • Anger - Dr. Mila

    • Fear and Anxiety - Dr. Mila

    • Shame - Dr. Mila

    • Acknowledging Emotions

    • Module 5 Reflection Exercise

  12. 12
    • Learning Objectives

    • Module 6 Introduction - Dr. Megan

    • Avoidance Behaviour - Dr. Andrew

    • Types of Avoidance Behaviour

    • Dog Phobia - Dr. Andrew

    • What We Resists Persists and the Bill Comes Due - Dr. Andrew

    • Module 6 Quiz - Let's Recap Avoidance

    • Grandma's Bees - Dr. Andrew

    • Introduction to Exposure - Dr. Andrew

    • An Example of Overcoming Avoidance - Dr. Andrew and Ray Burns

    • Module 6 Reflection Exercise

  13. 13
    • Learning Objectives

    • Introduction to Communication - Dr. Megan

    • Communication Styles - Dr. Mila

    • Communication Skills

    • Module 7 Quiz - Let's Recap Communication Styles

    • Communication and The Window of Tolerance - Dr. Mila

    • Tips for Effective Communication - Dr. Mila

    • D.E.S.C.

    • Reflection Exercise

  14. 14
    • Learning Objectives

    • Module 8 Introduction - Dr. Megan

    • The Paradox of Empathy

    • Functional Disconnection and Functional Reconnection - Dr. Megan

    • Functional Disconnection Strategies - Dr. Megan

    • Functional Reconnection Strategies - Dr. Megan

    • Finding Balance with Empathy - Dr. Mila & Brad Holmes

    • Empathy as a Mission - Dr. Andrew

    • Module Eight - One Last Quiz!

    • Module 8 Reflection Exercise

  15. 15
    • Thank you - Dr. Megan

  16. 16
    • A View From Above - Dr. Megan

    • Negative Visualization - Dr. Megan

    • Voluntary Discomfort - Dr. Megan

    • Tips to Help Your Brain Rest and Digest - Dr. Andrew

    • Guided Breathing - Dr. Andrew

    • De-Catastrophize Your Thinking - Dr. Megan

    • Muscle Relaxation - Dr. Megan

    • Self Compassion - Dr. Megan

  17. 17
    • From a Football Field to a Sewing Needle

    • Understanding the Why

    • Be Kind to Yourself

    • Acceptance in a Stoic Service Culture

    • Connect to You Connect to Community

  18. 18
    • A Special Thank You to Wounded Warriors Canada

    • Team Acknowledgment - Dr. Megan

BOS Leadership Team

Dr. Megan McElheran

Clinical Psychologist and CEO

My name is Dr. Megan McElheran and I am a clinical psychologist and CEO of Wayfound. For the past 16 years, I have had the privilege to work almost exclusively with uniformed service personnel and have witnessed the devastating psychological effects operational stress can have on those who serve our communities. I was motivated several years ago to develop the Before Operational Stress (BOS) program out of a desire to provide public safety personnel with an intervention that could support greater psychological protection relative to their occupational roles. I am steadfast in my commitment to finding proactive ways to support public safety personnel and will continue to disseminate and evaluate BOS to ensure its effectiveness and utility for the members it serves.

Dr. Milena Spasojevic

Chief Clinical Officer

My name is Dr. Milena Spasojevic and I am thrilled to introduce myself as the chief clinical officer of BOS. I have had the privilege of being involved with BOS since co-facilitating the pilot group in August of 2018, and have since joined Dr. McElheran in training clinicians across Canada in its delivery. Developing and disseminating this cutting-edge and empirically-supported program has become my passion and it is an honour to serve in this role.

Dr. Andrew Carlquist

BOS Clinical Lead

My name is Dr. Andrew Carlquist and I am a clinical psychologist in Ontario. I moved to Canada to join the BOS team in November 2018 after completing my clinical training in the US Veteran Affairs system. I am passionate about working with uniformed service personnel and other front-line workers, as I believe it is vital to provide the absolute best support to folks who serve, support, heal, and defend our communities. The BOS program is a culmination of research, clinical experience, cultural competence, and feedback from the "front-lines" and I am honoured and excited for the opportunity to provide it to our members.

BOS Is Proudly Partnered With
Wounded Warriors Canada