Victims of tragic circumstances are people who, for reasons beyond their control, find themselves without the necessities of life. These circumstances may include fire, accidents, or natural disasters. Victims of tragic circumstance become involved with police services for a variety of reasons that are not always associated with criminal activity. This type of crisis offers a challenge because of the tremendous scope of situations that may arise.

A house fire is devastating to any family because it means displacement and loss of personal items. Depending on the extent of the damage, families must rebuild their lives from almost nothing. Victim Services can help out families who are victims of house fires by providing emotional support and assisting the families with meeting their immediate needs. Victim Services can provide the family with a clean change of clothing for each member. We can also assist with short term lodging, ready-to-eat meals and hygiene kits.

Motor vehicle accidents

At the less severe end of the spectrum, injuries can include such problems as mental anguish, emotional distress, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, or embarrassment. People with even mild cases of mental or emotional distress can experience bouts of crying, severe anger, loss of appetite, weight fluctuations, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction or loss of interest in sex, mood swings, and/or sleep disturbances. Victim Services works with individuals to provide emotional support and practical assistance such as recovery of vital documents and personal items, arranging for transportation home or accommodations (if required), and contacting family.

Natural or manmade disasters

Disasters are often unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. In some cases, there are no outwardly visible signs of physical injury, but there is nonetheless a serious emotional toll. It is common for people who have experienced traumatic situations to have very strong emotional reactions. Victim Services can help you understand your responses to these abnormal events, can aid you in coping effectively with your feelings, thoughts and behaviors, and help you along the path to recovery

Dealing with Critical Incidents

Victim Services has trained and established a critical incident team for the District of Parry Sound. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is small group “psychological first aid.” The primary emphasis in a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is to inform and empower a group after a threatening or overwhelming traumatic situation. A CISD attempts to enhance resistance to stress reactions, build resiliency or the ability to “bounce back” from a traumatic experience, and facilitate both a recovery from traumatic stress and a return to normal, healthy functions.

The victim service critical incident team is be linked and blended with numerous crisis support services including, but not limited to, pre-incident education, individual crisis intervention, family support services, follow-up services, referrals for professional care, if necessary, and post incident education programs.

Links

Muskoka-Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service

We provide free mental health services to adults including crisis intervention, counseling, rehabilitation, recovery support, psychiatric treatment, partner assault housing support and a protective service program.

www.mpscmhs.on.ca

Red Cross – Muskoka and West Parry Sound

Muskoka – West Parry Sound Disaster Management Team supports the Red Cross by facilitating public awareness about the disaster management team to encourage personal preparedness, networking among DMT members and sharing best practices with Canadian professional and volunteer responders.

http://www.ptsc-online.ca/crc_muskoka_dmt

 Mental Health Help Line

The Mental Health Helpline provides information about mental health services in Ontario. We are funded by the Government of Ontario.

www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca

Emergency Management Ontario

Browse through site for tools to support planning efforts, information about current emergency-related events, training opportunities, and resources.

http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html