OPPA provides MH resources for those impacted by the deadly storms in Ohio
For Information Contact: For Immediate Release:
Janet Shaw May 28, 2019
Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association Provides Mental Health Resources for Those Impacted by the Deadly Storms in Ohio
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) expresses its concern for those affected by the devastating storms across the state of Ohio.
As the potential mental health impact of this tragedy increases for our local communities, the OPPA offers tips and resources on how to minimize possible mental and emotional effects of trauma caused by the storms.
This tragedy can have a tremendous psychological impact on all those directly and indirectly affected. It is normal to experience a wide range of mental or emotional reactions following a traumatic event, from sadness, stress and anxiety, to more severe mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder, ongoing anxiety disorders or depression. Most people are resilient and will do well after a tragedy; treatment is available for those who are struggling to cope.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone involved. Our immediate concerns are for the safety and well-being of those affected and volunteers who are helping with this tragedy,” said Victoria Kelly, MD, OPPA President. “Traumatic events affect survivors, emergency workers and the friends and relatives of victims who have been involved. As psychiatrists, we understand the event may cause significant distress and pose potential threats to the mental health of all those involved. It is important for everyone to know that help is available and treatment does work.”
The OPPA and the American Psychiatric Association recommend following these steps for coping in the days following this traumatic event:
- Keep informed about new information and developments, but avoid overexposure to news rebroadcasts of the tragedy. Be sure to use credible information sources to avoid speculation and rumors.
- If you feel upset, you are not alone. Common reactions to trauma include anxiety, depression, irritability, difficulty sleeping, isolating yourself from others and increased use of alcohol and tobacco to manage your emotions. Talk to friends, family or peers who likely are experiencing the same feelings.
- If you have contact with children, keep open dialogues with them regarding their fears of danger. Talk about your ability to cope with tragedy and get through the ordeal.
- Feelings of fear, sadness and anger following a traumatic event are natural and may persist for days or much longer. You may want to seek psychiatric care if you or your child are having increasing problems at home, work or school, using more alcohol, or experiencing symptoms that don’t get better after a few days.
For additional information about mental health issues, including PTSD, anxiety and depression, visit the APA’s public education website at www.psychiatry.org/mental-health and http://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/coping-after-disaster-trauma.
The Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, a district branch of the American Psychiatric Association is a statewide medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders.
Additional Helpful Resources:
- Tips for Survivors of a Disaster of Other Traumatic Event : Coping with Retraumatization
- Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- PFA: Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children After Disasters
- PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Preschool-Age Children After Disasters
- PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers After Disasters
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- SAMHSA: Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery
- SAMHSA Disaster App
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
- Ohio Emergency Management Agency