The destruction from Hurricane Sandy was unprecedented, leaving more than just a bad memory for thousands of New Yorkers who will be picking up the pieces for months to come. NY1's Susan Jhun has advice on how to manage stress following a natural disaster in the following NY1 For You report.
Whether suffering personal losses or feeling burned out from helping with recovery efforts, dealing with the devastation from Hurricane Sandy is starting to take a toll on many of those affected. Deputy Commissioner Dan Kass from the Department of Health says it's common to experience anxiety, shock and other forms of distress following traumatic events. He says under these circumstances, don't hesitate to ask for help.
"We want people to seek guidance, help, talk about it," Kass says. "1-800-LIFENET is a free service for people in New York to just have somebody on the other end of the phone to listen, to make referrals where appropriate, to even just acknowledge that these are hard experiences to go through."
A spokesperson for the Department of Health says the crisis intervention hotline so far has received more than 200 calls related to Hurricane Sandy. The deputy commissioner adds that most people recover with time, but it's important to find a support system within your friends, family and community, and providing a sense of safety and trust for children who were affected is critical. Those with mental illness showing signs of distress should seek help immediately.
"At each of the city's recovery centers, the FEMA disaster centers, there are mental health professionals there who can also listen to people, talk to people, give advice to people who need to give advice to others," Kass says.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, the Department of Health urges you to call 1-800-LIFENET.