Dealing with Trauma as a Result of Hurricane Harvey and the Flooding

So many aspects of the hurricane and flooding in Texas are traumatic, from loss of life and property to dis-location from homes, communities, and networks of support.

Several responses to the tragedy will assist families in facing the current challenges and the challenges to be faced for years to come. There has been a rapid response to the emergency and effective communication of resources and the rescue process. Many individuals are reaching out to help which demonstrates that support is available.

Trauma has an emotional, cognitive, relational, physical, and even, spiritual impact on people's lives. The stresses connected to the hurricane and flooding are immediate, but the stresses of re-stabilizing and rebuilding will continue into the future.

Stress from trauma may lead to difficulty sleeping, frightening dreams, memories of the events, or avoidance of places or experiences that are reminders of the traumatic experience.

Many actions and responses can help families in dealing with the traumatic experiences they are living through.

  • The ability to share feelings about their experiences - at their own pace.
  • Support from friends, family, and the community.
  • A sense that people are helping giving hope that the difficulties can be faced and worked through.

It is important with all mental health issues to know that support from others and psychotherapy can be of help and that struggling emotionally is NOT a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. Pychotherapists and psychologists have strategies and tools to share that can help people process trauma and obtain emotional well-being even in the midst of ongoing stress associated with the after-effects of the trauma.

It is important to focus on the help being given, that it's OK to seek help, and that it is human nature to show care and be resilient even in the most difficult circumstances.