While many residents are carrying on with life during the recovery period, there are many others who will need mental health assistance.
That from Chair of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Jeanette Bancarz who adds the municipality and the committee are doing what they can to help.
“I think that our community has been likely through the most traumatic event that it’s ever been through and there’s a broad spectrum of levels of anxiety,” says Bancarz.
Bancarz says there are a number of measures in place to help the community move forward.
“What I will say about Alberta Health SErvices is that they’ve been right here the whole time supporting our residents. I do know, as well, for the schools there’s a lot of children coming back, it’ll be the first time back in school from that day when they were evacuated,” says Bancarz.
She says there is a subcommittee of the WBRC called Community Well-being and Support which is working very closely with AHS.
She says during evacuation the community banded together adding we need to do that again now and be there for each other.
Links to mental health resources is below from the Government of Alberta.
Mental health info for yourself and your family
Everyone who goes through a traumatic event is affected in some way. For some people, the signs of stress may not appear until weeks or months after the event has happened.
Warning signs you may not be coping well include:
Thinking about the disaster or traumatic event all the time
Having flashbacks to the event
A change in your sleep pattern (sleeping less or more; waking up through the night; having nightmares or not sleeping at all)
Avoiding people or activities that you usually enjoy
Using alcohol or drugs more
Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual)
Feeling more worried or frustrated more than usual
Having thoughts about harming yourself or suicide (call 911 if this occurs)
Coping and healing after the wildfires (0.3 MB)
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Psychological First Aid After a Disaster or Emergency (0.2 MB)