Natural disasters have unexpected impacts on mental health

Golembiewski, Jan A. (2013) Natural disasters have unexpected impacts on mental health. The Conversation, January(14).

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Radical circumstances (bushfires and natural disasters) flush out the mental illness in society. Whenever there’s a disaster, there’s a rush on hospital admissions for psychiatric problems. But on the whole, the illness is already there.

Emergencies naturally make fodder for delusions and the emergency efforts, for mania. Obviously, there are direct mental health consequences – a small rise in post-traumatic stress disorder inevitably follows disaster. This correlates with the severity of the consequences of the disaster (loss of family, friends, animals and property).

And there’s usually a big rethink, with about a third of those affected leaving the area permanently. But, for the most part, this isn’t driven by mental health issues, it results from the very real fears about whether living in a fire (or other disaster) zone is worth it.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 93156
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Mental health, Natural disasters, Bushfires, Health and bushfires
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 23 Feb 2016 23:34
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2016 01:18

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