Although rebuilding has begun, the psychological and emotional effects of Hurricane Harvey could stay with Texans for some time. If you or someone you know is having difficulty coping with stress or feelings of loss, guides and information can serve as starting points for recovery or finding help.
“You can get overwhelmed easily, and that can be depressing. Take baby steps and ask yourself, ‘What can I do today?’ Look for the bright spots every day. That’s what we did, and somehow we emerged on the other side. Take the help. Search it out. Put your pride aside, and take advantage of it if you really need it.”
—Karen Glass, president-elect of the Mississippi Association of REALTORS®. Glass’s property and four of her brokerage’s offices were destroyed after Hurricane Katrina’s record-setting storm surge hit the Mississippi coast in August 2005.
The American Psychological Association has a guide to managing stress after a hurricane. Its advice includes:
- Allow yourself to mourn the losses.
- Take a news break.
- Ask for support from those who care about you.
- Communicate your experience.
- Find local support groups.
- Engage in healthy behaviors.
- Establish or reestablish routines.
- Avoid major life decisions.
The guide also includes information about how shock and stress affect people, factors that go into survivors’ responses, and advice for when to seek professional help.
The American Psychological Association also has a guide for those who weren’t in the path of a hurricane but still need help coping.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also provides information about the emotional effects of a disaster, including how to help kids who’ve been affected and the signs of disaster-related stress.