Disasters can have prolonged impact on mental health. An inquiry into the after-effects of calamity

Distress can linger after disasters like floods. A mix of personality, family and community gives us clues

The Queensland and New South Wales floods are a powerful reminder that health crises and natural disasters can arrive without warning and wreak havoc on the lives of those affected.

Studies often identify four types of psychological response to disasters and crises such as floods…

The second group of people experience high psychological distress throughout the time of the disaster and beyond, and show little, if any, recovery.

But what happens to these people next? Do they typically experience declining mental health and well-being? Or is the human condition typically one of resilience?

Research generally finds about two-thirds of people affected by natural disasters, health crises and terrorist attacks show resilience. They maintain a stable level of mental health in the face of a serious stressor.

However, some people experience prolonged distress after floods and other disasters. These people often face other life challenges and have reduced support networks – and must not be overlooked in policy responses and supports…READ ON

Disasters can have prolonged impact on mental health. An inquiry into the after-effects of calamity

The Queensland and New South Wales floods are a powerful reminder that health crises and natural disasters can arrive without warning and wreak havoc on the lives of those affected.

People who experience chronic mental health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, tend to lack optimism.

But what happens to these people next? Do they typically experience declining mental health and well-being? Or is the human condition typically one of resilience?

Research generally finds about two-thirds of people affected by natural disasters, health crises and terrorist attacks show resilience…READ ON

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