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Red Cross encourages people affected by floods to protect psychological health

26 March 2021

Australian Red Cross is urging people affected by the floods disaster to take action to protect their psychological wellbeing, during and after the disaster.  

“Emergencies like this are some of the most stressful experiences we can have. Living through it can leave people emotionally and physically exhausted,” Australian Red Cross National Recovery Adviser Dr. Kate Brady says.  

“As we process the stress of such an event, with many unable to access their home, it’s normal to not feel like yourself. However, there are simple things we can do.  Pace yourself and ask people around you for help. Chat to people about your experiences, and listen to others without judgment.  

“There are lots of emotions people can feel after a major crisis, such as shock, numbness, fear, helplessness, anger and frustration. Many of these feelings will not be present immediately, and some can take months or even years to develop. 

People also need to look after themselves physically, Dr. Brady says. “Physical health can be directly affected by an emergency, including difficulty sleeping, muscular tension, and inability to concentrate.” 

Red Cross personal support volunteers remain on hand at recovery centres, providing practical assistance to evacuees, as well as emotional support, information and referrals to other networks.  

Australian Red Cross has launched an appeal for funds to assist people affected by the NSW floods.  

Dependent on ongoing needs assessment, and amount raised, support could include disaster relief (including practical and financial assistance) and supporting people and communities to recover and build resilience to disasters. 

Donations can be made by visiting redcross.org.au/NSWfloods  

Red Cross has resources redcross.org.au/emergency-resources to assist people affected by emergencies.  

For more information, or interview requests, please contact 1800 733 443 or media@redcross.org.au