The Community Connect Expo in April will provide information and support for those who are experiencing stress and trauma after last year’s wildfires. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Community Connect Expo to help with fire stress and trauma recovery

Full day event will feature a variety of workshops, organizations, and more to provide information.

A Community Connect Expo coming to the Ashcroft HUB on April 14 is designed to help those dealing with trauma and stress in the wake of last year’s wildfires and floods, and let people know what services are available within the community to help.

“One thing that really came across loud and clear during the fire was what services people could access, and where they were,” says Vicky Trill, executive director of the HUB. Representatives from organisations such as WorkBC, Better at Home, the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society (SCEFS), Interior Health, Yellowhead Community Services (Community bus), The Equality Project, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. will be at the Expo, with participants able to stop by during breaks and find out more.

“People can go around and see what services are available for a wide variety of things, make themselves aware,” says Trill. “We saw the funding, and the need out there. We didn’t anticipate such need for trauma recovery, but there are still people out of their homes, and other people who still have trauma.

“A lot of people were alone, and scared, and had no one to turn to. This event will help people get the tools they need to help themselves and others.”

The keynote speaker at the Expo—which is being funded by the Canadian Red Cross—is Dr. Ann Gillies, a trauma therapist who is trained in counselling psychology and theology. One of her specializations is multiple critical incident stress training, and during her keynote speech she will talk about the differences between Acute Traumatic Stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder so that those wanting to help can assess the needs of the individual in crisis.

There will be three workshop sessions throughout the day, with participants able to choose between various sessions according to their interests. Among the workshops are “Building Resilience”, “Mental Health First Aid”, “Care at Home”, “Art from the Heart”, and “Services Available at WorkBC”.

Trill says that the Expo is targeted mainly at adults and seniors, but that it might also be of interest to older teens. The cost for the full day (which includes snacks and lunch) is $20, but SCEFS is partnering with the HUB to assist those who want to attend but cannot afford the fee. Better at Home is also partnering with the HUB to present the Expo.

There is limited space at the Expo, and it is expected that some workshops will fill up quickly, so registration (by April 1) is on a first-come, first-served basis.

An information brochure with a registration form can be found at The Ashcroft HUB Society Facebook page and on the HUB website (ashcrofthub.ca). They can also be picked up at the HUB office at 711 Hill Street, Ashcroft.

For more information, call the HUB at (250) 453-9177, or email ashcrofthub@gmail.ca.


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