EDMONTON — Edmonton-area singer-songwriter Stirling John has first-hand knowledge of the challenges frontline workers have faced since COVID-19 began spreading in Alberta nearly one year ago.
First-hand knowledge because Stirling John is actually Sgt. Stirling John with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“As a police officer, we do see the struggle people are dealing with,” John told CTV News Edmonton. “But we also are feeling it too.”
Based out of Parkland County, John’s day job is law enforcement, but music is his passion.
He hopes his new music video for the song ‘Believe’ is a source of positive inspiration for anyone struggling with the mental health tolls that can come with living through a pandemic.
“Everyone does have the ability to struggle and we all need to come together and be there for one another,” said John.
The singer recently recorded his own version for the timely country pop song and video, but the original version was actually composed nearly 12 years ago by another Edmonton-area singer-songwriter… and police officer.
“It really portrays that message that hey, we all struggle and we’re all in this together,” Cst. Dave Pederson of the Edmonton Police Service told CTV News Edmonton.
Long before COVID-19 was a household term, Pederson’s song was meant to let people know that it’s OK to hurt and to look for support.
“When everything started happening in the world it was just like, ‘Boom,’ it’s time to use this one,” Pederson said. “The ability to still hope during those times is just vital.”
The music video that’s received over 6,000 views features Edmonton-area first responders and other members of the community holding signs with the song’s lyrics.
Those lyrics saying in part: “Hello, did you fall through the cracks? How did you go so long without knowing? Why did you hurt so bad without showing. Somehow you carried on.”
“If you’re in the thick of it,” said Pederson. “I hope you hear that message to keep going.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health here are some numbers you can call for help:
- Alberta Mental Health Hotline: 1-877-303-2642
- Canada Suicide Prevention Line: 1-833-456-4566
- Alberta One Line for Sexual Violence: 1-866-403-8000
- Family Violence Information line: 310-1818
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Alberta Addiction Services Helpline: 1-866-332-2322
“Don’t be afraid to talk,” said John. “There’s lots of help out there.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Bill Fortier
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