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Posted on: July 14, 2020

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY RESILIENCE, NEEDS

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Town Council heard an overview Monday evening of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both residents and non-profit organizations.

The Social Recovery Task Force (SRTF) presented results of both surveys highlighting the social, emotional and financial impacts and the goals for responding.

Kim Krawec, Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) manager and SRTF chair says the data helps with plans for a response strategy.

“FCSS and other non-profit organizations provides a wide variety of supports every day for families, individuals and organizations in our community,” she says. “We know the pandemic changed circumstances for a lot of people —we need those details to design appropriate programs and services.”

The resident survey was available June 12 to 29 online and in the Cochrane Eagle; 552 people responded to questions about mental health and personal well-being, as well as financial impacts and job security.

Survey results highlights:

  • 82% say they have the mental health support they need
  • 71% say they are aware of the mental health resources in our community
  • 62% feel a strong or very strong sense of belonging to the community

Almost all respondents (99%) said they have access to technology, an important factor when developing plans for outreach.

Some results were of significant concern and will influence future activity:

  • 87% said the news media have a negative impact on their state of mind
  • 89% experienced feelings of helplessness, irritability, anger or anxiety; a change in sleep patterns, loss of interest in daily activities or increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • 69% have concerns about family stress from confinement
  • 35%: have concerns about an increase in disagreements and conflict at home
  • 3% have concerns about violence in the home

When asked about the future of Cochrane’s social well-being, respondents were cautiously optimistic and realistic. The resiliency of the Cochrane community was a common theme throughout the survey.

The Social Recovery Task Force also surveyed local organizations about the impacts of COVID-19. All organizations that responded said there was an impact:

  • Increased demand: 76%
  • Disruption to services: 95%
  • Reduction in revenue from fundraising: 85%
  • Reduction to financial reserves: 63%
  • Reduction in earned income: 67%

Three-quarters of local organizations remained open and operating, 47% with modifications.

Cochrane’s Social Recovery Task Force was established in April to collaborate with local support agencies and provincial and federal government to create opportunities to support and enhance the well-being, safety and resilience of Cochrane residents. Members: Mayor Jeff Genung, Councillor Susan Flowers, Kim Krawec (chair), Terri Lauer and Nicole Copses (recording secretary), FCSS; Natalia Tapia Glenn, Rotary Club of Cochrane; Chairra Nicolle, Helping Hands Society of Cochrane & Area; Jan Tracy, Cochrane Activettes; Lauren Delahunt, Cochrane and Area Victim Services; Cindy Iles, Big Hill Haven Women’s Shelter.

The SRTF will move ahead to develop a strategy to respond to community needs and prioritize actions in the coming weeks and months.

Detailed results are available on LetsTalksCochrane.ca/SRTF.

Detailed survey results
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