Residents of Clinton at a community meeting during this summer’s fires. The BC Nurses’ Union is urging those experiencing stress because of the the wildfires to get assistance. Photo: Susan Swan.

BC Nurses’ Union acknowledges stress caused by wildfires

Those affected are urged to seek assistance if they feel they need it, in order to recover.

As tens of thousands of people begin the slow process of rebuilding their lives after this summer’s wildfire crisis, the BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU), along with the United Way, is warning of the psychological impact the experience is likely to have had on those who lived through it.

The BCNU recently donated $10,000 to the United Way’s BC Wildfire Recovery Fund, aimed at addressing important social needs like housing, and access to food and mental health care, by rebuilding social service agencies. As was learned from the wildfire disaster in Fort McMurray, the recovery phase can often be just as sensitive to handle as the disaster itself.

“After traumatic experiences like we saw this summer, it’s common to see more cases of domestic abuse, alcohol and drug use, and a variety of public health issues,” says BCNU acting president Christine Sorensen. “We have to also consider the health care professionals who worked under extremely stressful circumstances and are feeling the lasting impacts of the crisis firsthand.”

Danalee Baker, executive director of United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo, says the donation will greatly assist those who are in the process of rebuilding their lives.

“We are overwhelmed at the generosity of the BC Nurses’ Union and their ongoing support of the people of B.C. Their gift will go towards BC Wildfire Recovery in the coming months, specifically to target a common goal: mental wellness and resilience for citizens and communities,” she says. “Returning to some semblance of normal life and restoring hope for those affected by the wildfires is key to moving on from the trauma, anxiety, and fear that accompany disaster.”

Both the BCNU and the United Way are encouraging people who were impacted this summer to access mental health services and resources if they feel they need assistance.

“We know mental health is essential to physical health, personal well-being, and positive family and interpersonal relationships, all of which has been disrupted this summer,” Sorensen says.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vancouver Island artist creates portrait of Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy for his family

‘I felt their loss, and wanted to reach out to them’ says Harpaul Nandhra.

Highway 1 closed between Yale and Boston Bar

A rockslide has closed a portion of the Trans-Canada, with no scheduled re-opening time.

North Vancouver man arrested in Lytton, faces multiple charges

Suspect turned over to Lytton police when he tried to flag a ride with a truck driver.

Cache Creek team taking part in this year’s Baja 1000 off-road race

The grueling race in Mexico takes place over 48 hours, and fewer than half the starters finish.

TNRD hires manager to help residents with fire recovery

Bob Finley will work one-on-one with residents to guide them through the recovery process.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read