Majority of Lac-Megantic residents show signs of PTSD: report
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 8:02PM EST
Two thirds of the residents of Lac-Megantic show moderate to severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the results of a long-term study released Thursday.
Public health officials have been studying the psychological and health impact caused by the train derailment in July 2013 which killed 47 people. In total 1,600 residents from Lac-Megantic and surrounding areas participated in the study.
Lac-Megantic residents are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as other residents in the Eastern Townships, only 16 per cent of residents are seeking psychological help, a drop from the previous year, and one out of eight residents do not feel safe in their town.
The results also show that one person out of six has reported increased alcohol consumption since the disaster.
The public health agency is recommending more investment in mental health services and is calling for a collective day of reflection in March to gather all residents to come up with a plan to help heal this community.
One issue that remains unresolved is the rails – many citizens want the tracks to be diverted around the town rather than through it.
On Saturday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau pledged at least no trains that go through town will be allowed to carry crude oil, but there’s no guarantee that measure will become permanent.