Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Disasters And Their Impact On Mental Health

Disasters And Their Impact On Mental Health

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists expresses sorrow for the loss of life, injury and trauma resulting from the Haitian earthquake.

“The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists shares the community’s grief and distress at the tragic consequences of the earthquake,” said President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Professor Louise Newman.

“The people of Haiti will be suffering significant grief and loss as a result of the earthquake. Western countries should consider the psychological needs of the Haitian population and how they can assist. It is important that skilled assistance is available to people over the complex period of the aftermath and recovery. Such horrific circumstances of loss and trauma will be painful for everybody and may lead to mental health anguish, particularly for those who have been most directly affected,” said Professor Newman.

“There is much that can be done to assist people in dealing with natural disasters in both the immediate aftermath and in the longer term for those with lasting effects. Caution is required in the immediate response to avoid revisiting the traumatic events through ‘debriefing’ as this may compound the trauma.

Attention should be directed instead to assisting people to recover with appropriate support and acknowledgement of loss and grief,” said Professor Newman.

“Relief workers need to be supported psychologically, as the effects of working in a disaster zone can cause trauma and have serious impact on their mental health,” said Professor Newman.

“Many people throughout the world, including Australia and New Zealand, will be touched by these dramatic events. Media coverage of disasters can be confronting and distressing. We particularly need to consider the psychological impact on children of exposure to graphic media coverage and ensure that it is limited. Vulnerable people and those who may have previously experienced a disaster situation may find media coverage distressing,” said Professor Newman.

“Some people may be feeling anxious, stressed or depressed as a result of the disaster. People are encouraged to talk to someone about their thoughts and seek appropriate professional help. If people are feeling distress they should seek help from health professionals, a telephone counselling service or visit their general practitioner,” said Professor Newman.

“It is important to promote ways people can maintain their mental wellbeing, encourage early detection of mental illness and publicise available support strategies,” said Professor Newman. People can use relatively simple measures to safeguard their mental health. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists recommends:

•Social engagement is important – catch up with friends and family, get involved in yourcommunity Early intervention in the first stages of mental illness is essential – if you think you could

be suffering a mental illness it is important to visit your General Practitioner

•Minimising alcohol intake and not smoking tobacco or using illicit drugs

•Stress reduction through regular exercise, a balanced and nutritious diet and relaxation techniques

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels