Mental health perceptions of rural community members and firefighting personnel after a wildfire

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Kimmel, Ainslee
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, c2012
Wildfires in Canada and around the world are increasing in frequency each year from factors such as accumulated fuel load, climate changes, and pine beetle infestation. Due to an increased proportion of individuals living in the wildland–urban interface areas within Canada and due to the increasing need for firefighters to fight the growing number of fires that burn each year, the potential threat for humans is also becoming greater. Conducted on the 2009 West Kelowna, British Columbia wildfires, this descriptive, exploratory, qualitative study incorporates quantitative validity measurements to investigate factors related to individual variations in psychological distress and posttraumatic growth (PTG). The findings revealed that perception of control, social support, compounding stressors (i.e., dual roles, ongoing responsibilities and personal issues), and coping methods (i.e., debriefing, humour, self-care behaviours, and reflection) were precursors to psychological health and resilience. Since wildfires are increasing in Canada as well as on a global scale, understanding how they affect residents and firefighting personnel from a mental health perspective is important to research, as it can lead to identifying more effective interventions, better provision of disaster relief services, and increase individual resilience.
xi, 193 leaves ; 29 cm
Wildfire fighters -- British Columbia , Wildfire fighters -- Job stress , Wildfire fighters -- Health and hygiene , Wildfire fighters -- Mental health , Forest fire fighters -- British Columbia , Forest fire fighters| -- Job stress , Forest fire fighters -- Health and hygiene , Forest fire fighters -- Mental health , Post-traumatic stress disorder , Wildfires -- British Columbia , Forest fires -- British Columbia , Wildfires -- Social aspects -- British Columbia , Forest fires -- Social aspects -- British Columbia , Dissertations, Academic