Friel sought help for PTSD

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - Vball@post­media.com twit­ter.com/EXPVBall

He said that so­ci­ety must find ways to help peo­ple to deal with men­tal health is­sues, in­clud­ing through the Work­ers Safety In­sur­ance Board.

Friel re­called his own strug­gles with post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der as mayor fol­low­ing a 2002 train derail­ment in the city.

The derail­ment oc­curred when the driver of a van struck a train stopped at the Stan­ley Street rail­way cross­ing. The van be­came lodged be­tween two cars of a 69-car train and was dragged about a half-kilo­me­tre be­fore hit­ting the Raw­don Street bridge and burst­ing into flames. The ex­plo­sion caused the last eight cars of the train to roll down the em­bank­ment next to sev­eral homes. More than 100 peo­ple had to leave their homes fol­low­ing the derail­ment while author­i­ties dealt with the prob­lem.

Although he ini­tially re­sisted get­ting help, Friel said he did seek coun­selling, which helped him deal with the PTSD and move for­ward.

Ward 3 Coun. Greg Martin, a pro­fes­sional fire­fighter, thanked Friel for rais­ing the is­sue and speak­ing pub­licly about his strug­gles.

It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to rec­og­nize the im­pact stress­ful in­ci­dents can have, Martin said.

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