Quebec Government funds study of Dawson shooting impact



    MONTREAL, Sept. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - A year ago, the actions of a lone
shooter at Dawson College resulted in a well-known tragedy: one dead, nineteen
injured and hundreds traumatized. Life has continued more or less for the
affected individuals, but the question remains as to how they benefited from
psychological support services and how the tragedy continues to impact their
daily lives. Today during a commemorative ceremony Quebec Premier, Jean
Charest and Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports, Michelle Courchesne,
announced a grant of $460,000 for a collaborative research project spearheaded
by a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
(MUHC).
    Led by Dr. Pierre Bleau, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Program of the
MUHC Mental Health Mission, this project will bring together a team of
psychiatric researchers : Dr. Alain Lesage, Psychiatrist at the Fernand-Seguin
Research Centre at the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, Dr. Warren Steiner, MUHC
Psychiatrist-in-Chief, and Dr. Nadia Szkrumelak, Director of the MUHC
Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic.
    The researchers will begin this three-phase study by measuring the impact
of the shooting on the emotional and physical health of the "Dawson
community." With anonymous records provided by the Régie de l'assurance
maladie du Québec, among other tools, they will be able to determine any
changes in how this group uses health services. The researchers will also
examine the impact on the college's teaching activities by analyzing data from
the Ministry of Education. This information will be provided with the
strictest respect for individual anonymity.
    An important component to the study will be measuring the effectiveness
and adequacy of the psychological support services implemented in response to
the tragedy. These services will be evaluated through individual and group
interviews of the health care personnel involved and the victims. "No one has
studied closely the impact of this kind of psychological follow-up, and we may
discover treatment gaps that we can use as opportunities for improvement,"
stated Dr. Steiner.
    The data and analyses will then help establish a standard response
protocol to crisis situations in a school setting. "The Dawson shooting forced
us to define a methodology on the fly because procedures for this kind of
situation do not exist," explained Dr. Steiner. "Our goal now is to create an
effective procedure to follow if this should ever happen again."
    This study will be carried out in collaboration with the Crime Victims
Assistance Centre (CAVAC) and the Centre de Santé et des Services sociaux de
la Montagne.

    The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic
health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical
programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching
hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University - the
Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal
Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on
the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the
MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the
health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.
www.muhc.ca

    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC)
is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre.
Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, a
university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill
University. The institute supports over 500 researchers, nearly 1000 graduate
and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to
a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute
operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is
inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that
patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge. For
further details visit: www.muhc.ca/research.




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Kling, Communications Coordinator
(research), MUHC Public Relations and Communications, (514) 934-1934 #36419,
isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca


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