Being forced from one’s home by a natural disaster is a rare occurrence that most of us will never face. However, tens of thousands of British Columbians are going through this upheaval right now as hundreds of wildfires burn throughout the province. Mental health experts warn that the emotional toll of disaster can be as devastating as the financial strains of damage and loss of home, business or personal property.
“Natural disasters can be extremely traumatic and overwhelming for people. While most people will get through these hard times, for others it may be very hard to cope and the disaster can spark a bigger ongoing mental health problem,” says Bev Gutray, CEO of the CMHA’s BC Division. “After you safeguard your physical health and that of other people and pets, it’s important to take care of your mental health as well.” [Read more…]