Three Turner Valley RCMP officers have been wrapped in love and appreciation from a local group that provides quilts to emergency workers, some of whom are suffering from work-related PTSD.
Patti-Jo Haley, founder of Quilts for Everyday Heroes and a Turner Valley resident, said the quilts are an acknowledgement of the extremely difficult work first responders and other professions do.
“Originally it was first responders that were battling PTSD, but it’s become more PTSD awareness and through the process we’ve become more aware of how important the quilts are for mental health,” Haley said. “It’s more become reaching out to first to first responders to acknowledge and recognize and appreciate, especially if they have been in a difficult situation.”
The quilts are embroidered with the recipient’s name, and if the individual is an RCMP member, his or her regiment.
She said it It was a good feeling to hand the quilts over to her local detachment and those who receive them are always touched.
“The emotion and the gratitude we see in the responders that receive these quilts is overwhelming for those that are involved in the making and the presenting of the quilts…there is often tears and it often comes back where just the recognition is so important to them – that they know they are not doing it in vain,” she said. “That the people in the town and the Province know and appreciate what they are doing.”
Turner Valley RCMP Sgt. Josh Atkinson said the quilts were given to three deserving members.
Atkinson said mental health is an issue for which police officers need to be always be cognizant.
“We do attend very traumatic events that the public is not exposed to on a regular basis,” he said.
Checking in on your personal mental health and those of your coworkers is part of the job, said Atkinson.
He said the quilts show that others are aware of their struggles and it helps.
“We support each other and the community supports us also,” he said. “It (the quilts) was an excellent gesture.”