Woman shares experience with PTSD after shooting at crowded Toronto Raptors celebration
TORONTO -- It’s been more than a year and a half since a shooting took place inside the crowd of thousands gathered along Queen Street to celebrate the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship. But for those emotionally traumatized by the events, the scars are still apparent.
“I feel like with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it kind of stays with you no matter how healed you are,” Shreya Patel told CTV News Toronto. “Because it’s part of you, and you have to accept that.”
CTV News Toronto first met Patel last January in Nathan Phillips Square just steps from the shooting site. At the time, she admitted that sleeping was difficult, and that she was triggered by large crowds or groups of people running.
As part of her recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder, the filmmaker left Toronto to spend time with her family in Sarnia, Ont. It’s where she has spent most of the pandemic. She says she’s found comfort in long walks, meditation, and talking openly about mental health with her family and friends.
“A lot of my friends were feeling really lonely, especially people who did not have families in the country and they were by themselves and they were feeling … alone and all these things and that was triggering around the world and not just in our country,” she said.
Last year, Patel, decided to remotely film a documentary, in the hopes of illustrating the human spirit during a global pandemic.
The film, called “Unity- #Lovespreads faster than a virus,” features interviews with people from 66 different countries on six continents. Among the interviews, people discuss how they’re dealing with mental health challenges that have been brought on by a global pandemic.
“In all of these countries everyone is going through the same thing so you are not alone. We’re all in this together. So mental health was a huge part of last year and it continues to be this year as well.”