Newswise — As historic flooding inundates Gulf Coast areas, and wildfires burn in California, there is growing concern about how the stress and trauma impact those most directly affected. Specifically, experts are urging those in disaster zones to consider the impact of trauma on children.
Virginia Tech clinical psychologist Russell T. Jones is a nationally recognized expert on the topic of fire trauma, natural disasters and posttraumatic stress. He says all too often, parents and family members are caught up with the disaster’s impact and don’t take into account the effect on young people.
“Children are frequently suffering in silence,” said Jones. “Often, no one is looking out for the kids.”
Jones’ research indicates it’s the number one factor for helping young people deal with tragedy. “Children absolutely need the support of their parents, family and friends to overcome the fear and anxiety that may accompany a disaster,” he said.
Jones and his colleagues have developed mental health resources for adults, adolescents and children impacted by fires, dealing with fire safety, prevention and recovery.
“Preparation can bring out a sense of efficacy for children, knowing that if it happens again, they can be ready for it.”
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