‘No Room to Grieve’ Windsor ONA Local 8 to Release Teaser of New Short Film that illustrates lasting effects of trauma, offers support
September 2, 2020
WINDSOR, September 2, 2020 – Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Local 8 will release a teaser of a new short film today, produced to show the long-term impact of everyday trauma experienced by registered nurses and health-care professionals while on the job.
Entitled ‘No Room to Grieve,’ the short film will be released in its entirety on September 9. It was produced by ONA Local 8 with Helios Films and directed by Jendo Shabo, who says that “those suffering from PTSD often have little to no power over the trauma, making each attack an unpredictable nightmare.” The short film’s structure, style and techniques reflect the complexity of PTSD symptoms. The short film is the culmination of a series of videos produced by ONA Local 8 that have aired in a Windsor movie theatre and on-line to raise awareness of the workplace violence inflicted on nurses.
This final short film, says ONA Local 8 Coordinator Susan Sommerdyk, RN, shows the lasting impact of chronic workplace trauma – and reminds nurses and health-care providers that help is available. “Workplace trauma – whether inflicted by workplace violence or the sometimes-harrowing patient care situations we experience on the front lines of health care – has a lasting effect,” she says. “The reality for those of us on the front lines is that there truly is no time to process the events that we experience – we just carry on because we have to. This short film provides an insider’s view of the reality of our experiences and the trauma that can inflict.”
ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN, notes that a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions found that 20 per cent of registered nurses suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. “While the public doesn’t always recognize that RNs and health-care professionals are first responders, that is exactly what we are,” she says. “ONA has fought hard to have nurses included in provincial presumptive legislation that recognizes the likelihood of PTSD afflicting first responders and makes it easier to access help. This film is a valuable reminder to those suffering in silence that help is available.”
ONA Local 8 has also partnered with a number of health-care organizations, including the Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Services, Erie Shores Health Care, Hotel Dieu Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Hiatus House and the Canadian Mental Health Association. The Local will also launch a webpage dedicated to helping front-line registered nurses access support if they are suffering from PTSD. Sommerdyk says that while the general public is unaware of the high rate of PTSD among nurses, their sacrifices are not going unnoticed by ONA Local 8. “Help is available,” she says, “and I want to ensure that no one feels they are alone.”
The teaser can be viewed at heliosfilms.ca/noroomtogrieve. To watch the full short film, revisit the webpage on September 9th at 2 pm EDT. Behind the scenes photos of the project are available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Px3DOFQeCaf7bHFvorBlXegAzBbt5vrs?usp=sharing.
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
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Susan Sommerdyk, RN