Community Resilience or Unidentified Health Risk?: Health Professional Perceptions on the Impact of the Swissair Flight 111 Disaster on Surrounding Communities
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On September 2nd, 1998 Swissair Flight 111 crashed in Saint Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia. Surrounding coastal communities were immediately transformed into disaster response sites. Sixteen community health professionals were interviewed that identified several types of individual and community exposure, including exposure to human remains. The interviews revealed that the coastal communities have responded with silence and stoicism. This silence has been viewed by some health professionals as resilience. The interface of a major disaster, community silence, low help-seeking behaviours, and limited disaster health responses raises the critical question whether this is a profile of resilience or a community silently enduring.
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