Following a disaster, it’s important to remember that anxiety, sadness, and trouble sleeping are common responses to traumatic events. So are headaches and stomach aches, overeating, and loss of appetite. Everyone has different ways of coping, which can make people act differently than they usually do. The effect of a disaster or traumatic event goes far beyond its immediate devastation. It takes time for survivors to grieve and rebuild individual and family lives.
While everyone has different ways of coping, there are some steps to recovery from a disaster or traumatic event that are known to help many people.
Talk with someone.Connecting with and talking to others who accept and understand your feelings is the best way to help yourself.
Reestablish routines. Get back to doing the things you would normally do every day. This can help you regain a sense of control over your life and reduce anxiety.
Know that it’s okay to celebrate successes in the recovery process and have moments of joy even after a trauma. Return to doing things you enjoy as a family and spending time with friends.
Disaster Distress Helpline: A 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Kaiser Permanente: Kaiser Permanente is offering free counseling support for Butte County Camp Fire survivors starting February 20 through May 20, 2019. This service is free and includes:
Single session counseling support
Information about local resources
If you would like to access these services, please dial (707) 571-3778 and select option 4 for advice.
If you, or someone you know, was receiving County Behavioral Health services in Paradise and have not yet contacted us, please call our Access Line at 800.334.6622 or 530.891.2810. We would like to know that you are safe and so that we may continue your care at one of our other locations that is most convenient for you. If you plan to relocate outside of the County, please let us know so that we may coordinate your transfer of care.
Children are particularly vulnerable. Not only are kids more susceptible to physical health challenges, they may not be able to communicate their thoughts and feelings following a disaster. To help children cope with the stress of a disaster, consider the following:
Share age-appropriate information.
Encourage children to ask questions
Limit media exposure
Return to a routine as soon as possible.
Reach out for help.
A guide for helping children and youth cope is available here.