For advice and information

Health care support

Residents of Fort McMurray now have access to all healthcare services that were available in the city before the wildfire.

The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is providing full comprehensive health care services.

Mental health info for yourself and your family

Everyone who goes through a traumatic event is affected in some way. For some people, the signs of stress may not appear until weeks or months after the event has happened.

Warning signs you may not be coping well include:

  • Thinking about the disaster or traumatic event all the time
  • Having flashbacks to the event
  • A change in your sleep pattern (sleeping less or more; waking up through the night; having nightmares or not sleeping at all)
  • Avoiding people or activities that you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs more
  • Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual)
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling more worried or frustrated more than usual
  • Having thoughts about harming yourself or suicide (call 911 if this occurs)

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Children and teens

Children and teens react to trauma and loss differently than adults do. Not all children or teens react the same way or at the same time. Below are some common reactions to stress.

Children under 5 years old, may:

  • Go back to doing things like he or she did when younger
  • Be afraid of strangers, animals or monsters
  • Have changes in sleep patterns (e.g., sleep more or sleep less)
  • Have trouble falling asleep on their own
  • Start having nightmares
  • Cry more than normal
  • Change eating habits
  • Complain about aches or pains
  • Get confused easily
  • Want to always be with (cling to) adult caregivers
  • Have trouble talking (e.g., stuttering)

Children 6-12 years old, may:

  • Return to behaviours he or she did when younger
  • Have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or be scared to sleep alone
  • Have trouble concentrating (e.g., at school)
  • Complain of a headache or stomach ache without obvious cause
  • Be more aggressive or withdrawn
  • Ask about spiritual beliefs
  • Have trouble with any medical problems (e.g., diabetes)

Teens 13 to 18 years old, may:

  • Have trouble sleeping (e.g., too much or too little)
  • Complain of aches and pains, headaches, or stomach or bowel problems
  • Get sad or depressed
  • Be withdrawn or quiet
  • Act out or have aggressive behaviour
  • Have trouble with school or not want to go to school
  • Ask about spiritual beliefs
  • Feel guilty about surviving (if people have been hurt or have died)
  • Have trouble with any medical problems (e.g., diabetes)

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