Social media is full of the hashtag #TorontoStrong, and as a city we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to how our city handled yesterday’s events.
There were the many bystanders that ran to the immediate aid of people that were like them, innocently walking down the street when they were attacked.
There were the many first responders, doctors, and nurses that worked tirelessly throughout the day and night to treat the injured.
There was the “Cop that didn’t shoot”, whose calm professionalism in a moment of terror, saved a life that will hopefully be able to provide answers to why a tragic event like this happened.
There was even the family standing on the sidewalk handing out water to those that had a long walk home because of road and subway closures.
While we can’t ever fully prevent violent acts against our city, what we can do, is control how we as a community react to yesterday’s events. And so far our city has shown how strong and resilient we can be.
But it’s also important to recognize that it’s OK to not to feel strong at this moment. To feel sorrow, fear, anxiety, loss, and confusion. An attack like this on innocent people in a public place, is an attack on all of us, whether or not we were on that sidewalk yesterday.
If you know someone impacted, lend an ear or help them find support.
Witnessing a tragic event can be very traumatic, and not everyone affected may have the support networks they need. If you or someone you know is struggling with what happened you can point them to some amazing organizations in our city that help with supporting them such as the Survivor Support Program at Toronto Distress Centres, and Bereaved Families of Ontario. These are all Nonprofit organizations, so if you are considering making a donation today, these would be great initiatives to support.
Consider supporting Mental Health programs
A tragedy like this impacts everyone’s mental health, and many people, especially young Canadians don’t have access to the resources they need. Consider supporting Jack.org and Hard Feelings, both are Nonprofit Organizations here in Toronto that offer programs that reduce barriers and increase access to mental health supports.
Help build an inclusive community
We don’t know the motive behind yesterday’s attack, but what we do know is that Toronto has always been known for being one of the most diverse, yet inclusive communities in the world. The more effort that we as individuals and businesses put behind fostering that, the stronger we truly get. Be kind to someone that you usually don’t interact with. Hold the door for a stranger. Give your seat on the TTC to someone who needs it. Sit with a coworker at lunch that’s eating alone. A little act of kindness can have a rippling effect that could dramatically change someone’s day or even life.
At Swift Medical, every day we work hard on figuring out how to use technology to help heal physical wounds. There are a lot of amazing other Canadian startups that are working to use tech to help address emotional wounds like TranQuool, Hasu, and Inkblot.
#TorontoStrong and Supportive
#TorontoStrong is about resilience at times like this, but in order to keep our city strong, we need to focus on continually building an inclusive, kind and emotionally supportive community for everyone.