Thursday, February 9, 2017

Situation: Normal-ish

Toni Lucas, Editorial - Today. Today is a normal day. Well, normal-ish. In Pincher Creek the wind warning is following the recent dump of snow, very normal. The lineup for coffee was normal, and breakfast tasted good. Today follows on the heels of yesterday, a day where many people in Pincher Creek were in a state of frustration, confusion, and fear because of reports of an armed conflict near one of our schools. It followed an advisory that the buses were not running to pick up children for school. Tactical teams and police cordons are an unusual sight in Pincher Creek. Rumours, suppositions, both true and false information spread like wildfire via social media. How did this incident come about? Why?  I do not have the answer to those questions. I do know the immediate issue has been resolved. That does not mean life is back to normal. It is normal-ish.

So how do we deal with today? A normal day that is not quite normal?

We recognize that life goes on and appreciate our lives. We can appreciate the people around us, and reflect. We appreciate what is here. We try to get a handle on our worries, fears, and anger. Lives have been altered. This community has gone through a traumatic event. First responders had a very difficult and long day. Family and friends of the apprehended suspect, and indeed the suspect himself, have gone through a traumatic event. We need to be aware that people may still be reacting to this incident. We have to be aware of it in ourselves, as well. We can help to heal ourselves and those around us, and strengthen the bonds within the community.

We can express our gratitude. We can say 'Thank you' to the people who helped out in whatever way, no matter how small. Neighbours watched children while parents went to work. Friends comforted friends. RCMP officers risked their lives for public safety. The front line for keeping the public safe did their job. First responders were ready to deal with physical trauma, no matter who that trauma happened to. Thank you.

We can cope. Young and old, we all have feelings. Feelings in themselves are not wrong or right, we have to find ways to deal with them. Some people cope by exercise, art, music, writing, gardening, cooking, playing video games, having pets, and a host of other ways to express themselves. One of the ways people cope with situations out of their control is to talk. If you feel you cannot talk to your friends or family there are other people you can turn to.  If you are in school you can contact the family liaison worker, or a teacher. You can contact your family doctor and they can help you seek the right help. Your insurance or work organization may have some mental health employee assistance, or you can contact a spiritual advisor from a house of worship.

Today. Today kids went to school, people went to work. Today is normal, almost. This is a great day. Even if it is normal. Maybe, especially so.

Let's help to make tomorrow even better.

Pincher Creek Resources
The Pincher Creek Addiction and Mental Health Clinic 403-627-1121
Pincher Creek Parent Link Family Centre - 403-627-5569
Pincher Creek Associate Clinic - 403-627-3321
Napi Friendship Centre - 403-627-4224
Pincher Creek Victim Service Unit - 403-627-6040

24 hour help lines and Alberta Health resources
Mental Health 24 hr Hotline 1-866-332-2322
Distress Line 24 hr Hotline 1-888-787-2880 
Mental Health Helpline 1-877-303-2642 (24/7)
HealthLink: 811 (24/7)

RCMP or Police services: Phone your local detachment or call 911 in Alberta.


  1. Anonymous9/2/17

    Thank you, Toni. Very well said.

  2. Well written Toni Thanks.

  3. This is a refreshing read. Thank you! You could not have expressed a sense of "community" any better. Bless your heart and your inspiring words ❤

  4. I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.


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