Quebec City mosque shooting: residents encouraged to speak out, seek help

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Seeking help after Quebec City mosque shooting
WATCH ABOVE: Quebec City officials are encouraging residents to speak to a professional or reach out if they were emotionally impacted by the mosque attack. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports – Feb 6, 2017

Psychological services are now available 24 hours a day for Quebec City residents reeling from the shooting at a Quebec city mosque that left six people killed and many others injured.

With life and death resting in doctors’ hands that night, Dr. Marcel Emond said it wasn’t until hours later that he realized he knew one of the victims.

“I was literally at the door waiting for the ambulance to come in,” he told Global News.

“His son was at the same school as one of my daughters, so you kind of get involved at that time, kind of emotionally get involved.”

The city has set up a crisis centre at Jeffery Hale Hospital, sending experts to coach teachers on how to talk to students.

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A crisis team also reached out to 200 victims and witnesses.

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The regional health board said there has been a 20 per cent increase when it comes to people who need its services.

“The Muslim population was hurt, but so were many others in Quebec,” said Josée Martel, with Quebec City Psychological Services.

Psychologists are concerned about the most vulnerable people in the community, like Muslim immigrants and recently landed refugees, many of whom moved to Canada to escape persecution in their home countries.

READ MORE: Hate crimes spike in Montreal after Quebec City mosque shooting

“These are people who have gone through terrible experiences, so they’ve been exposed to a lot of events that have made them insecure and fragile,” said Dr. Jean Bernard Pocreau, a traumatic shock specialist and psychologist.

WATCH BELOW: The Quebec City mosque shooting unfolds

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The regional health board is asking residents to pay closer attention and look out for loved ones in the next couple of months.

“Whether it’s people impacted [by the tragedy] or friends,” said Pocreau.

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Pocreau suggests parents should talk to their children, even if they don’t appear to be affected by the shooting.

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The suspect in the attack, Alexandre Bissonnette, faces six charges of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted firearm.

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