YMCA: Mental Health Still A Major Struggle Among Flood Victims

Eight months after last year’s flood and many are still struggling with their mental health.

That’s according to Kara Boulton, Program Manager for the YMCA for Family and Wellness Programs.

“Our community has been impacted so much in the last five years,” she noted.

“Think about compounded trauma. We had crises after crises after crises. With the added restrictions and the lack of being able to spend time with loved ones at Christmas – it impacts each person differently. We don’t know the rest of their story, financially or health-wise, and then still dealing with feelings from the flood; be it evacuating, or loss of property.”

Since October, the YMCA of Northern Alberta has been helping residents who are dealing with mental, physical, and financial impacts from the flood.

Funded by the Canadian Red Cross, the program will point these individuals to mental health supports, funding, counselling, childcare, help with the effects of isolation, and more.

“We always come together and we have great agencies and programs to help but people are still struggling,” added Boulton. “We are here to help.”

The YMCA is also working with several partners who are also funded by the Red Cross to ensure that the right referral goes to the right place. This includes St. Aidens Society, FMPSD, FMCSD, The Centre of Hope, The Multicultural Association, Waypoints, Some Other Solutions and Keyano College.

This is the second program of its kind with the organization participating in a similar one, Support For Wellness, after the Horse River wildfire where Boulton says they learned a lot of lessons, better equipping them to help this time around.

If you’d like more information on the programs the YMCA of Northern Alberta is offering, you can contact Amanda at 587-723-1638.

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