#HumboldtStrong: Messages of support from Kids Help Phone

Our hearts are with everyone impacted by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy that occurred on April 6, 2018. We share our deepest condolences with the families and communities involved. Below you will find some words of encouragement and messages of support from Kids Help Phone President & CEO, Kathy Hay, as well as our National Youth Council Chair, Ben Sabic.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this event, we encourage you to reach out for support as you work through your feelings and personal recovery. This might mean talking to someone you trust, like a friend, family member or safe adult (teacher, counsellor, youth worker, etc.).

For immediate support, Kids Help Phone’s counsellors are available 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868 as well as during Live Chat hours. Young people in Saskatchewan, as well as communities impacted by the tragedy, can now text CONNECT to 686868 to connect with a trained volunteer Crisis Responder 24/7.

Dealing with grief and loss can bring up a whole range of different emotions. Remember, all of your feelings are valid and can change from day to day. Everyone experiences grief and loss differently. Some people cry a lot, while others feel too numb to cry. Along with feeling sad, sometimes people feel angry, confused or guilty. You may not feel bad all of the time, and that’s OK. You don’t have to force any feelings that don’t come naturally to you. With that in mind, healing and moving on are different for each person, too.

Motor vehicle accidents can be experienced as traumatic events for those involved in the accident, those who lost loved ones and those who witnessed the event. However — just as with the grieving process — how one person responds to trauma may be very different from the way another person responds.

Sometimes, the emotional and psychological impact of a traumatic event can linger, long after the event is over. When thoughts and memories of a traumatic event don’t go away or get worse, it may indicate that a person is struggling with post-traumatic stress.

If you notice any of the following signs in yourself, or someone in your life, it’s important to get help: 

  • •    feeling too much or too little
  • •    persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, rage, fear, hopelessness
  • •    feeling numb
  • •    consistently avoiding doing things or going places that remind you of the traumatic event
  • •    flashbacks, reliving the event over and over 
  • •    difficulty concentrating, memory problems
  • •    freezing or blanking out
  • •    difficulty sleeping, nightmares
  • •    becoming isolated or withdrawn, not interested in activities you once enjoyed

Community support can be found through Resources Around Me, Kids Help Phone’s interactive map-based tool of programs serving young people in Canada. Youth can search by location and category to find support in their local community including mental health, counselling, health services, legal information and more.

Messages of support

“We are here for your team @KidsHelpPhone anytime - and anyone needing support.  Our hearts are filled sadness for your loss.  Sending our thoughts and love!”

— Tweet from Kathy Hay, Kids Help Phone President & CEO

For Kids Help Phone’s official statement, please read the following announcement.

“On behalf of the Kids Help Phone organization and Kids Help Phone’s National Youth Council, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and the City of Humboldt. Additionally, we would like to thank the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, STARS Air Ambulance flight crew and paramedics, Provincial Response Team, and other first responders and medical professionals who treated – and continue to treat the victims of this horrific accident.”

— Message from Ben Sabic, Kids Help Phone National Youth Council Chair

To read Ben’s full statement of support, please click here.

Remember, your mental health and well-being are essential. If you’re experiencing grief, loss or post-traumatic stress, it’s important to get help. Talking to someone you trust can be a good first step to getting support. Be patient with yourself and remember that you will get through this.

If you would like to know more about this topic, you can connect with a counsellor by phone or Live Chat.