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N.S. first responders launch education site on trauma amid year of COVID, violence

A new website is launching today to assist Nova Scotia first responders coping with trauma, in a year in which a pandemic and a mass shooting have added to the distressing experiences they routinely face.

The site offers resources designed for paramedics, firefighters, police officers and health services workers to help them manage the toll of the trauma they experience at work.

Read more: ‘A pandemic of its own’: How COVID-19 is impacting mental health

It also provides support for their recovery from traumatic psychological injury, including links to online counselling.

The site www.FirstRespondersMentalHealthNS.com is promoted by posters with the faces of first responders superimposed with phrases reflecting thoughts they may be keeping inside.

They include statements such as “It’s hard to quiet the voices in my head,” and “There’s this heavy feeling.”

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The website, launched by a provincial steering committee, is modelled on a similar site in British Columbia, and it also contains links for family members living with a person with post-traumatic stress disorder.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.

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