Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Year Later

A year ago today, Ottawa lost its innocence with an attack on Parliament Hill, and the tragic & fatal shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.

Ottawa was scared.

Confused.  Angry.  Filled with anxiety.  Hurt.

We shook, cried, screamed and had troubles breathing.

In a single morning, Ottawa changed...and quite possibly, you changed as well.

Last year, we wrote about how to deal with tragedy and traumatic events.  These messages still ring true today as we remain #OttawaStrong one year later.

Today, there are many reminders of this tragedy from all media sources, Facebook friends, Twitter followers.  It's nearly impossible to avoid, and this may be difficult to remember.

Some may feel like they don't want to go to work today, that another targeted event may happen. Having these feelings of vulnerability are normal when a tragedy has affected you.  However, if the feelings are too strong, too much to handle or you don't know how to move forward, this is something that should be addressed, as you may be suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or secondary trauma stress.

There are three main types of PTSD or secondary trauma stresssymptoms and they can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time:
  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Avoiding reminders of the trauma
  • Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, we encourage you to reach out for support.  We have amazing people on our phone lines who are there to speak with you and help you through any emotions you may be experiencing.

As the city prepares for a ceremony at the National War Memorial today to honor Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, as well as Sergeant at Arms (former) Kevin Vickers, who was successful in taking down the shooter, and all First Responders, there is an increased police presence to be sure that our city and country are indeed safe.

Today may not be easy for you, or maybe you'll be the shoulder someone else leans on.  Regardless of which side of the page you're on, know that we are all in this together.

And if you happen to be near an Ottawa Police Officer, RCMP, or a member of the Canadian Military, consider taking a moment to personally thank them for everything they do.  

We are here all day & night for you to talk to if you need us.  Pass along our phone number to anyone who may need it.