- July 11, 2022
- Posted by: Ally Venianakis
- Category: Mental health
Australia has endured some of its worst rainfall and flooding in over a decade, and with the third round of flooding hitting Australia’s east coast this year, it’s likely to take a toll on an individual’s mental health. Natural disasters can be a traumatising experience. Many have been forced to evacuate their homes and are now facing challenges to secure safe and affordable housing. There has been damage to property and possessions of sentimental value, financial strain, anxiety and fear, danger, and loss of human life. It is important that through all of these challenges that wellbeing remains on an individual’s radar.
If you are affected by the floods, dealing with threats to your safety & physical needs are a priority. Once these have been met, you can focus on your psychological needs and wellbeing.
Managing your wellbeing if you have been affected by the floods
Floods can have a significant impact on an individual’s health, safety, wellbeing, and community. Following a natural disaster, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions such as feeling sad, fear, stressed, anxiety, or shock, so it’s important to give yourself time to heal and process what has occurred. In the weeks following on from the floods there are a number of ways you can support yourself if you are experiencing psychological symptoms.
- Stay connected
Staying connected with friends and family is important when navigating challenging times. Engaging in meaningful conversations can help you to open up, express how you are feeling and release any unwanted tension.
- Positive coping strategies
Figuring out your own positive strategies to readily draw upon during tough times can help to boost your wellbeing. This may be mindfulness, listening to your favourite upbeat song, journaling, or deep breathing exercises which make you feel a sense of calm and grounded.
- Managing emotional distress
Distressing reactions are a normal part to recovery. Take the time to learn how to identify, understand, anticipate and manage these emotional reactions to gain back some control and predictability.
It is completely normal to experience a range of emotions after a flooding event. If you feel that you or your loved one is not coping, there are a number of free support services that are available:
- Your Employee Assistance Program
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyondblue 1300 224 636
- Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
- Mensline 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800