Calgary, AB,

Support available for Abbeydale residents

The Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Support Team is available to help anyone who was impacted by yesterday’s events in the community of Abbeydale.

Large criminal incidents can often impact people’s feelings of safety and wellbeing, even for people not directly involved in the incident. Everyone responds differently to large-scale events and it is important that anyone struggling to process their thoughts or emotions reaches out for help.

“It is completely normal to be shaken by a major event like yesterday, especially if you were asked to stay in your basement or witnessed what happened,” said Sergeant Andrea Koolick, from the Calgary Police Service Victim’s Assistance Unit. “If you are finding it difficult to manage your emotions or have noticed a sudden change in your behaviour after the stress of yesterday, we would like to help you.”

The Victim Assistance Support Team is made up of highly-trained volunteers who can help reduce the impact of a crime or tragedy on those who are affected by it. Volunteers provide information, support and referrals to other professional and community organizations that can help. The team has supported thousands of people since being created in 1977.

All services provided by the team are completely free and confidential.

“Some people may not understand why they feel so affected by what happened and may not feel like they qualify for our support,” added Koolick. “But if you are struggling, it doesn’t matter whether you were directly involved in what happened. We are still available to help and want you to call.”

The Victim Assistance Support Team can be reached by calling 403-428-8398 or 1-888-327-7828 (toll-free). Their call centre is open between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Fridays.

If you need immediate assistance after hours, please call the Distress Centre 24-hour Crisis Line at 403-266-4357.