Stress of Homicide

On of August 21, 2019, Halton Region had its first homicide this year. Local news agencies report shots heard in Northern Burlington and Halton Regional Police confirm a woman in her mid 50’s has passed away from traumatic injuries.

Just imagine if you had been in the area and heard a gunshot or two. Your adrenaline would be racing. We know this effect known as the fight, flight or freeze response. Simply put this is your lower brain, the part that ensures your primal survival instincts are preparing you. In a nanosecond you must decide are you going to run towards or away from the shots fired. Sometimes while trying to make that decision we end up freezing.

I could not imagine what the scene was like when the first responders arrived. My heart goes out to the Paramedics, Fire Fighters and Police Officers attending the scene Wednesday.

That is the real reason for this blog. I wanted to remind you to take care of not only your physical well being but your mental well being also. When you are exposed to that extreme amount of adrenaline for an extended period such as the scene in Burlington you need a healthy way to de-stress. The simplest tools are deep breathing, yoga and meditation. Even a s little as 5 minutes of meditation has shown health benefits. Talking to someone who will not judge, only listen in my opinion is on of the best tools. Having a family member or close friend sit with you and listen is one of the greatest gifts we can receive.

We all go through this emotional turmoil at one point in our life. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health released some staggering statistics.

“By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness”CAMH

“70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence
There are many tools or techniques that have been written about to help with this.”CAMH

“40% of respondents to a 2016 survey agreed they have experienced feelings of anxiety or depression but never sought medical help for it.”1
And just to drive the point home CAMH also reports:
“In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. This includes:”
• approximately 355,000 disability cases due to mental and/or behavioural disorders. CAMH
• approximately 175,000 full-time workers absent from work due to mental illness. CAMH

There have been many books written by experts in this field. There are many books and audio books available at your local bookstore. Here are some examples. I don’t endorse any book or author; you must find the one that works for you.

As a side not, there are some foods that have been scientifically proven to help relieve stress and dark chocolate happens to be one. In the dark chocolate (50-90 % Cocoa) there is a natural chemical that helps lower blood pressure.Harvard If chocolate isn’t your thing try some blueberries, nuts, milk salmon, spinach or green tea.

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