Horse River Wildfire Remains Common Mental Health Trend in Fort McMurray

The Horse River wildfire continues to be a common mental health topic four years later.

That’s according to Some Other Solutions who notes they’ve seen a big jump in the number of calls over the past several months.

The common topics are the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent flood, the downturn in the economy, and the fire.

Madeline Austen, SOS Information and Referral Manager, tells Mix News, for many, the past few months are just adding on to the already existing anxiety and depression they’ve been dealing with from the fire.

“People have not fully recovered from it, it’s still written in their minds and on their conscience on how it affected them back then.”

Multiple studies have been done since the wildfire looking into the mental health of residents. The common finding was an increase in mental illness, especially in children, and the need for supports.

Austen says mental health recovery is different for everyone.

“Sometimes it takes a number of years and sometimes it takes probably two to five years when dealing with any kind of loss in life.”

Those in need of assistance can contact SOS through their website or by calling the crisis hotline at 780-743-4357 (HELP).

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