Safeguarding mental health in disaster response

Distress, depression and drug use: young people fear for their future after the bushfires. Full story:

Safeguarding mental health in disaster response

When a disaster such as a cyclone or a flood occurs, both of which are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, urgent needs including shelter and water supplies are already difficult to address — let alone the effects of trauma or other potential psychological consequences. However, experts agree that extreme weather events and climate change have both short-term and long-term effects on mental health.

“After a cyclone, there is an increase in mental health and psychosocial issues,” said Dr. Yuta Setoya, World Health Organization country liaison officer for Tonga and mental health specialist. According to Setoya, in the aftermath of cyclone Gita which hit the island state of Tonga in the southern Pacific Ocean in 2018, these psychosocial impacts became apparent through an increase in drunk driving, accidents, and violence…

Flooding and crop devastation predicted as ‘severe weather’ set to pummel eastern Australia

Dangerous thunderstorms are set to cause large hail and flash flooding, destroy crops and drive deadly spiders into homes across large swathes of eastern Australia over the next week.

Triggered by a low pressure system forming over the southern centre of the country and a trough across eastern Australia, the hazardous weather will escalate when the two systems combine on Friday, with the added tropical moisture present as a result of La Niña contributing to the severity of the storms…

Indonesia braces for La Nina-induced hydrometeorological disasters. The onset of monsoons in most Indonesian regions in September have also triggered flooding in several provinces, including Jakarta, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, West Java, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, and West Sumatra.

Indonesia, with monsoon and dry seasons, is prone to natural disasters, and usually some 75 percent of the disasters are hydrometeorological in nature, such as flooding, landslides, and strong winds.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that during the period from January to Oct 17 this year, Indonesia had recorded 2,276 natural disasters.  The hydrometeorological disasters comprised 827 floods, 637 whirlwinds, and 416 landslides.

The disasters affected 4.5 million people, with 307 individuals losing their lives, 25 persons going missing, and 469 people sustaining injuries. In addition, the disasters caused light, moderate, to serious damage to 35,176 houses and 1,481 public facilities…

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