Article posted on January 23, 2023

Supporting your Mental Health after dealing with a medical emergency


Medical emergencies can be a shocking and jarring event for all those involved, from the patient to the bystanders and rescuers. Any emergency situation can have negative effects on an individual’s mental health, but in particular, Cardiac Arrests can have serious and long-term impacts to all those involved.

Different people may respond to this trauma in different ways, but it’s important to recognize those feelings and react accordingly.

Signs of stress to watch out for include:

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, aches and pains
  • Distancing from family, friends and colleagues
  • Emotional distress such as increased anger, irritability and anxiety
  • Struggling to focus and remember
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Feeling empty, isolated, guilty, shameful or listless

After a traumatic event, if you notice yourself or others showing signs of distress, be sure to take action. Some, or all of these can be done to improve overall mental well-being:

  • Understand that these are normal responses to traumatic events, it’s ok to not be ok sometimes
  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member (for their benefit, don’t share specifics or gory details- just discuss the response you are having to the event)
  • Engage in healthy behaviours such as hydrating and eating nutritious food
  • Take part in manageable physical activities, such as walking, swimming or other light movement
  • Follow a routine and stick to your normal activities and environments whenever possible

Most importantly, know when to seek professional help. If these other coping mechanisms have not had a positive impact on your well-being, then it’s time to reach out. There are some supports and resources listed below.

We encourage anyone involved in a serious incident to consider accessing some kind of support, whether that be Peer Counselling, internal Employee Assistance programs or these resources.

Or please visit the following websites:


Last Updated: Monday, January 23, 2023

Calgary, Alberta, Canada