Every Fort McMurray resident has their own story about how they got out of the city, how life was while evacuated and how things have been since returning home.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to people that a lot of Fort McMurray residents are dealing with mental health issues following the wildfire.
IN PICTURES: 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire
Dr. Emmanuel Osegbue works at the River City Family Clinic and is seeing more patients than ever before.
“There was a 25 per cent increase in people complaining of anxiety, sleepless nights and depressed mood after the fire,” said Osegbue.
Dr. Osegbue says families have fallen apart and is noticing more children come to his office. Other patients are frustrated with the lack of the efficiency by the insurance companies and it’s taking a toll on them.
“I don’t see many of them very optimistic because of the way the insurance companies are handling their situation,” he said. “Many of them are not happy at all.”
IN PICTURES: Return to Fort McMurray
Having gone through the evacuation process himself and now helping others pick up the pieces, the aftermath is also taking a toll on him.
“Sometimes I wonder what can I do to prevent myself from becoming depressed like my patients, because it’s possible,” Osegbue said. “When you see a lot of people who were confident and happy, are now going down. Recently I’ve started to think I need to go to counselling myself.”
Seven support groups are set up across Fort McMurray to help people get things off their chest.