Nova Scotia mayor says mental health support is still inadequate 4 years post mass shooting

Mental health support still lacking 4 years after mass shooting: Nova Scotia mayor

“In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history, the scars left behind run deep. It has been four years since the tragic events unfolded in Nova Scotia, but the community is still grappling with the aftermath, particularly in terms of mental health support. Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair highlights the ongoing challenge of accessing resources for those affected by the trauma, emphasizing the need for comprehensive support.

The Trauma of April 2020:

The events of April 18-19, 2020, when a gunman took the lives of 22 individuals, including a pregnant woman and an RCMP officer, continue to haunt the community of Portapique. The ripple effects of this senseless act of violence have been profound, with fifteen of the victims hailing from Colchester County. Mayor Blair reflects on the lasting impact of the tragedy, noting the profound suffering that persists among residents.

The Long Road to Healing:

Despite efforts to provide immediate support in the aftermath of the shooting, Mayor Blair stresses the necessity of ongoing care for the community. The Mass Casualty Commission’s recommendations for improved mental health access and support services represent a crucial step forward. However, translating these recommendations into sustained, accessible resources remains a work in progress.

The Call for Action:

Mayor Blair advocates for the establishment of a counseling center in a central location within the county to ensure continuous, accessible help for all in need. The push for a permanent memorial to honor the lives lost reflects a collective commitment to healing and remembrance. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston echoes this sentiment, underscoring the government’s dedication to enhancing support for impacted communities.

A Beacon of Hope:

As the community continues to navigate the long road to healing, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. With increased funding and a focus on implementing the Mass Casualty Commission’s recommendations, there is a collective resolve to prioritize mental health, grief, and bereavement services. Mayor Blair remains hopeful that additional support will be forthcoming, underscoring the persistent need for ongoing resources.

In times of crisis, reaching out for help is essential. The resources provided for mental health crises serve as lifelines for those in need. As we reflect on the lingering impact of tragic events, let us remember the importance of supporting one another through the darkest of times. Let us strive to build a community where compassion and resilience prevail, even in the face of unimaginable loss.

Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. Reach out, speak up, and know that help is always within reach.”

— with files from Amber Fryday

© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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