Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Resources available to help cope with stressful events.

In the days following the tragic collision between the bus and train near Woodroffe Avenue that occurred earlier this week, it is normal for residents directly or indirectly involved to experience a range of emotions and reactions to this traumatic event. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Group recognize the importance of providing residents with timely information and resources to help residents cope with the after effects of traumatic and stressful events.

“As our community comes to terms with this tragic event, we are working closely with our partners to provide the best possible resources to help residents who may need support to cope in the weeks ahead,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. “There is no simple fix to cope with the effects of a traumatic event but I want to emphasize that it is normal to feel saddened and impacted by these events, and it is important to follow a normal routine as much as possible, and to stay connected with family, friends and co-workers.”

In collaboration with several community stakeholders, OPH has updated online resources which offer timely information and front-line community supports for post-traumatic mental health support in Ottawa. The Royal is also hosting a public information session September 24 with a team of trauma experts and clinicians on how to cope after witnessing a tragic event.

“Tragic events affect all of us in some way and it is natural to experience a range of emotions. It is important to reach out and provide support to those impacted to help them in the recovery process. With our expertise in mental health and trauma, we will work with City authorities to provide clinical expertise as required,” said George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal.

The public is invited to a Special Conversations session at The Royal on Tuesday, September 24 titled Witnessing a tragic event. How does one cope?

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Royal, 1445 Carling Avenue, Auditorium

The event will feature a team of clinicians and trauma experts of The Royal who will share their insights on coping following this week’s tragic event that resulted in lives lost and deeply affected our community. The session will include coping strategies, what is the natural recovery process in this kind of tragic event and treatment options. The team will also share suggestions on how to best support family and friends during this difficult time. Presenters will include psychologists Dr. Luis Olivier, Dr. Michele Boivin and Dr. Sarah Bertrim.

For more information, residents can visit the royal.ca, ottawa.ca/health or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY 613-580-9656).

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