Preparing for the aftermath in Nova Scotia: how we can help

In times like this, it’s easy to feel powerless, wishing that we could do more. We are incredibly grateful to our first responders who have been working tirelessly over the past week to contain wildfires across the province.Being a small province, we feel the impact strongly when family, friends, or people in our community are facing undue hardship.For those who have been trained in first responder roles but are unable to work due to injury, the draw to active service can be particularly powerful.It’s important to remember that there are many lines to fighting a fire. There are those on the front, and there are multiple levels of invaluable and necessary supports who stand behind them.What each of us does makes a difference.

  • Family members of those who are on the front line are making sacrifices and staying supportive while those they love move toward danger.
  • Community members are opening their homes, readying beds and preparing meals for those who need them.
  • Businesses are contributing through food donations and free services
  • Many people are reaching out through text and using social media proactively to check on those they care about, offering support and letting them know they’re not alone
  • Farmers and friends are taking in livestock and pets, ensuring their safety. We heard of a local farmer who took in 200 horses that needed to be evacuated.
  • For the most part, people are using common sense, keeping out of wooded areas and following evaluation orders and safety restrictions as required.

Perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do, is to ensure that we are taking the time to have an open ear and heart for those who have been affected, understanding the varying emotions they will experience through this process.  As always, we stand behind those who serve their communities. We recognize that there are very real injuries that arise from such selfless service. As an organization, our mandate is preparing for the aftermath of such significant events. If you’d like to support first responders in accessing the mental health care that they need and deserve, please follow this link to donate.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

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