The Le Granit CSSS: deeply rooted in the Lac-Mégantic community

Topics: Quebec
July 15, 2015



 
Since the emergency phase, the Le Granit CSSS and the Red Cross have been pooling their efforts: CSSS psychosocial responders were present at Red Cross facilities to quickly assist people in distress. Responders also travelled on site, such as along the fence that marked the affected zone, when buildings were demolished, and during the final walk through downtown.
 
Red Cross assistance also enabled the CSSS to improve and adapt its services. "During the emergency phase, needs are urgent.  During the other phases, you need to listen more closely to identify needs, because people express them differently. Also, some problems arise over time and get bigger, more complex," explained Vicky Orichefsky, director of the Le Granit CSSS.  "By lending an ear, we were able to meet the needs we identified in our outreach work."
 
As such, the CSSS team was able to get creative and innovate in terms of services. Here are some examples.
 
A guide for caregivers
People often open up during visits to the hairdresser, the esthetician, or a massage therapist. "There was a need to equip those people, who lend an ear to the community and who may get clients who are in distress. We put together a guide for caregivers, which helps them direct people to the right resources, whether it's within the CSSS network or other community partners." Along with distributing the guide, th team gives information sessions explaining how to best use the guide.
 
Promoting a healthy lifestyle
Employers noticed that some of their employees weren't sleeping well, weren't getting proper nutrition, and weren't exercising as much. A CSSS team, in partnership with businesses, municipalities, and various community associations, worked to promote a healthy lifestyle. "People already know what they should be doing. But we wanted to revive the issue to remind them that it's important to find a balance, sleep well, get the proper nutrition and exercise, and most of all, enjoy yourself. It helps you concentrate on different goals, on the positive. " 
 
A token of appreciation

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One topic came up frequently among residents of Lac-Mégantic. "Everyone deserves a medal, because everyone showed courage, resilience, and the willingness to help their community in whatever way they could." This token of appreciation took the form of a medal decorated with a tree, as a symbol of the community’s deeply rooted resilience and willingness to keep growing. "Awarding the medals was a healing experience and a great way to recognize everyone's contributions," said Vicky. "We're at the point now where people need to pull together, create a social network, and build a strong community."