Supports for physicians in the wake of bus crash
April 8, 2018
Later today, the community of Humboldt will hold a vigil to honour the lives lost in Friday night’s bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. On behalf the of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA), I want to extend my condolences to all the families and communities affected by this tragedy. The grief they feel is shared by the province, the country, and the world. The service will be a first step in a long road of healing.
I would like to thank all the physicians, residents, and medical students, and other care providers, who are working tirelessly during this difficult time. You need to know that your work and commitment is appreciated by everyone affected. While you might just feel like you are doing your jobs, we acknowledge that there are times when our jobs become more challenging, both personally and professionally.
Please take time to look after yourselves as you care for the injured and their families. I would encourage you to reach out to each other, to your families, your friends, and others you draw on for personal support. It is important to stay healthy and strong, even as you work to heal others. You are not alone. The SMA and others can assist. If you are feeling that you need assistance, the following resources might be of help. You can also find resources for your patients who may be struggling below.
On behalf of the SMA we truly appreciate your work and your support for the communities touched by this terrible tragedy. We will endeavour to ensure you have the supports you need to continue providing the best care you can.
Dr. Joanne Sivertson
Saskatchewan Medical Association
If you are in need of assistance or are aware of a struggling colleague, contact Brenda Senger (306-244-2196, 1-800-667-3781 or Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org ), Director of Physician Support Programs, for assistance. More information available athttp://www.sma.sk.ca/programs/44/physician-health-program.html. If you require immediate medical assistance, visit your local hospital emergency room.
For Physicians who are SHA Employees:
The Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to all SHA physicians. Physicians can access support, including counselling, by calling 1-844-336-3136. Callers will need to identify themselves as part of the Saskatchewan Health Care Employee Program. The SHA has advised that a series of onsite critical incident stress debriefings are also underway. These briefings are primarily being held at Royal University Hospital’s Emergency Room, Operating Room, and Intensive Care Unit. All are welcome to attend. For information on sessions in Melfort, Tisdale and Nipawin, please contact Mental Health and Addiction Services in Melfort at 306-752-8750.
University of Saskatchewan Employees:
If you are a University of Saskatchewan employee, you also have access to the U of S Employee and Family Assistance Program. Information located here:https://wellness.usask.ca/help/efap.php
Resources for your patients:
- MyGrief.ca - MyGrief.ca is a free online resource to help people work through their grief from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace. It was developed by family members who’ve “been there,” and grief experts to complement existing community resources and help address the lack of grief services particularly in rural and remote areas. It is also an education tool for health providers.
- KidsGrief.ca - When someone important to a child is dying or has died, families struggle with what to tell children, when to share information and how to address tough subjects. KidsGrief.ca consists of three learning modules written by grief experts. People can easily navigate the modules to find the information they need. Topics include: words, phrases and concepts to use and what to avoid; responding to difficult concepts; preparing children for funerals, and other ceremonies; and how to support grieving children.
- Sask. Health Authority resource page - the SHA has compliled contact listings of emergency contacts, counselling and support resources, and suggestions of how you can help.
Other supports available:
· Healthline: Dial 811
· Crisis Line Saskatoon: 306-933-6200
· In case of emergency, contact 911