Emergencies, whether natural disasters, accidents, or other unforeseen crises, can have a powerful and sometimes detrimental impact on people’s mental health.
In the immediate aftermath, individuals may experience shock, disbelief, and heightened levels of anxiety. Other signs of distress include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, fatigue, difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or anger, and physical manifestations of stress such as aches and pains.
Pre-existing mental health issues can also worsen, while long-term effects including depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD and PTSD) may develop.
That’s why prioritizing mental health is so important. Actionable steps include:
- Communicating openly about emotions
- Connecting with loved ones
- Incorporating self-care practices into daily life
- Implementing mindfulness techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises
- Spending time in nature
- Creating a predictable daily routine to regain a sense of control over your life
- Joining a peer support group, whether online or in person
- For people of faith, seeking spiritual support
- Calling a crisis hotline
- Seeking mental health counseling
- Undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other effective modalities
Investing time and effort is an intentional move toward sustained psychological health. Taking action reflects a commitment to navigating challenges and increasing the likelihood of long-term well-being.