How to support communities affected by mass shooting | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

The report by Jaclyn Schildkrault of the State University of New York at Oswego offers solutions to help victims’ loved ones and their communities.

The documents were released as several families boycott the hearings and say they lack confidence in the inquiry process.

A collective mourning

Each individual has their own needs and for some it will take years to be ready to deal with the trauma.

The report suggests, however, that support groups, centers dedicated to supporting the community and monument projects can help.

A playground was recently built. A fundraising campaign is underway to raise approximately $300,000 in cash and building material donations to renovate and expand the community hall, says Alana Hirtle of the Rotary Club of Truro.

Photo: CBC

Some resources in the Colchester and Truro area already existed and offered services to the families of the victims, but as indicated Alana Hirtle of the Rotary Club of Truro, other aid groups could only help.

In our society, we do not face grief. We’re supposed to close our lips and get on with our lives, when there’s so much more to it and it’s more complicated. »

A quote from Alana HirtleRotary Club of Truro

Ms. Hirtle is the chair of a committee working on the construction of a new park and community center in Portapique.

severe trauma

Survivors and members of communities affected by mass shootings in the United States since 2017 were interviewed by the report’s authors.

The loss of a loved one due to homicide is said to be the most severe traumatic experience a person can have. These events are violent, random and rare, thus contributing to trauma.

According to the authors, support groups can play a role in helping survivors. In the United States, a large group is The Rebel Projectcreated by survivors of the Columbine shootings after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado 13 years later.

The group has 1400 members, many of whom come from Canada. It aims to create a sense of community no matter where individuals are. But according to the report, face-to-face contact is also important.

It was suggested that stakeholders could support people who want to participate in events, conferences or other gatherings.

Resilience Centers

Centers of resilience have grown out of several shootings, including Aurora, Colorado in 2013, Orlando, Florida in 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017, Parkland, Florida in 2018, and El Paso, Texas in 2019.

A resident of Portapique consults the plans for the future community center.

A community center will be built in Portapique.

Photo: Radio-Canada

These centers are dedicated to the well-being of communities and offer therapy services as well as wellness, such as yoga classes, meditation, group sessions and trauma education.

According to Alana Hirtle, the future Portapique community center could have such a vocation.

Another site near MacElmons Pond Provincial Park could also be used according to some local stakeholders.

Monuments, but which involve families

Giving families and survivors a role in the creation of memorial facilities is essential according to the report.

It offers them a creative way to deal with their loss and ensure that the memory of their loved ones is respected.

In Nova Scotia, a fund of $90,000 was recently transferred to the Municipality of Colchester County.

Mayor Christine Blair says discussions with the mayors of Halifax and other area municipalities are underway to determine where the monuments will be placed.

Consultations are also planned with the families.

The Mass Casualty Commission resumes in Truro on Monday, as one of the RCMP officers who was responsible for the shooting will testify virtually in a pre-recorded hearing to be made public later in the week. A second police officer will testify in the same way on Tuesday and the process is closed to the public.

Public hearings resume on Wednesday.

With information from haley ryan of CBC

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How to support communities affected by mass shooting | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

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