Study: Exposure to disasters can result in declining mental health

Tropical storm Ana kills 34 in Madagascar, two in Mozambique

Tropical storm Ana has killed at least 34 people in Madagascar and two people in Mozambique in recent days while knocking out power in Malawi, the authorities in the three countries said on Tuesday (Jan 25).

The storm will potentially affect “highly vulnerable populations who have already suffered from previous natural disasters and conflict in northern Mozambique”

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

The storm which formed over the east coast of Africa’s largest island Madagascar has brought heavy rains causing flooding and mudslides that have swept away houses in the capital Antananarivo.

The latest report from Madagascar’s disaster management agency on Tuesday showed that 34 people have died and nearly 65,000 were left homeless since last week.

Across the Indian Ocean, the storm made landfall on mainland Africa on Monday, bringing heavy rains in Mozambique’s central and northern districts.

Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management on Tuesday said two people were killed, with 49 others injured in Zambezia province…READ ON

Study: Exposure to disasters can result in declining mental health

When dangerous weather becomes a threat, it’s natural for people to be stressed out and afraid.

But a recent study found, repeat experiences with disasters can take a major toll on a person’s well-being.

 “the findings directly refute the old phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

The wide range of Texas weather means there is the potential for a natural disaster to occur in any given season. Some Texans have had to live through both weather emergencies and man-made disasters — a problem that can have a major impact on someone’s mental health.

“The problem is there’s not a single part of a person’s life and world that isn’t affected by disaster, and that isn’t affected by the stress, the fear, and anxiety that come along with disaster,” said Christina Gibson, team lead crisis counselor for the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network.

That impact was the focus of a recent study at the Texas A&M School of Public Health…READ ON

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