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Coping with the Stress of Emergency Evacuation Introduction This presentation is intended: • For individuals and families evacuated from a disaster, armed conflict and political unrest. • To provide information about emotional reactions and ways of coping. Recognizing and handling stress properly can help you meet the challenges of evacuation and repatriation and regain your sense of control and security Emotional Impact • No one who lives through a disaster or violent event is untouched by the experience. • Most reactions are normal reactions that most people experience after emergency evacuation and rapid repatriation. Common Emotional Reactions There are many different ways that people react. Some of the more emergency repatriation include: • Recurring dreams or nightmares about the situation; • Trouble concentrating or remembering things; • Feeling numb, withdrawn or disconnected; • Having bursts of anger or intense irritability; • Persistent physical symptoms (headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension, etc.); • Being overprotective of your family’s safety; • Avoiding reminders of the conflict; • Being tearful or crying for no apparent reason. Typical Repatriation Reactions • May have a strong need to discuss or not discuss what you did and saw; • May be uncomfortable with others asking you to share details of your experience; • May change outlook on priorities in life. Managing Stress & Anxiety Here are some useful suggestions for coping with the stress and anxiety: • Limit your exposure to graphic news stories and photos of the event; • Get accurate, timely information from credible sources; • Seek out and follow the experts’ advice; • Try to maintain your normal daily routine, especially with regard to eating and sleeping schedules; • Stay busy- physically and mentally. Stress Management Get enough sleep; Exercise; Eat a balanced diet; Balance work, play, and rest; Allow yourself to receive as well as give; Connect with others; Use spiritual resources. Stress Management If you are having difficulty with: • Residual emotional distress related to the conflict or repatriation; • Reintegration into the home and family; • Reintegration into the workplace; • Substance abuse; • Health problems; …please reach out for assistance. 8 What Helps • Talking to others; • Engaging in positive distracting activities (sports, hobbies, reading); • Getting adequate rest and eating healthy meals; • Using relaxation methods (breathing exercises, meditation, calming self-talk); • Exercising in moderation; • Keeping a journal; • Seeking counseling. What Doesn’t Help • Using drugs or alcohol to cope; • Withdrawing from friends or family; • Overeating or failing to eat; • Withdrawing from pleasant activities; • Working too much; • Anger or violence; (continued) What Doesn’t Help (continued) • Doing risky things; • Blaming others; • Extreme avoidance of thinking or talking about the conflict; • Not taking care of yourself; • Excessive TV or computer games. Conclusion If you or someone that you know is having an acute emotional reaction that does not subside over the period of a few days, it may be best to seek the assistance of a medical or mental health professional. Conclusion (continued) • Crisis counseling services are available in many regions to help you and your loved ones cope with the emotional challenges of emergency evacuation and repatriation. To learn more about these services please visit: http://www.disastermentalhelathnj.com • You can learn more about psychological support services by phone, toll free at (877) 294-HELP  TTY: (877) 294-4356 For More Information New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services Disaster & Terrorism Branch Disaster Mental Health Help Line 877-294-HELP Office Tel 609-984-2767 Web www.disastermentalhealthnj.com E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org division of mental health services disaster & terrorism branch 14 Coping with the Stress of Emergency Evacuation Thank You!