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  1. #1

    Coping From a Distance - the New Orleans Hurricane

    For those struggling to cope from afar

    Even if you were not in the actual disaster, you may experience a sense of vulnerability from witnessing the results of the disaster.

    This can be especially acute if a relative or friend was affected by the disaster, particularly if you have been unable to get news on their welfare.


    - Take a news break. Watching endless replays of footage from the disaster can make your stress even greater. Although you'll want to keep informed - especially if you have loved ones affected by the disaster - take a break from watching the news.

    - Be kind to yourself. Some feelings when witnessing a disaster may be difficult for you to accept. You may feel relief that the disaster did not touch you, or you may feel guilt that you were left untouched when so many were affected. Both feelings are common.

    - Keep things in perspective. Although a disaster often is horrifying, you should focus as well on the things that are good in your life.

    - Find a productive way to help if you can. Many organizations are set up to provide financial or other aid to victims of natural disasters. Contributing can be a way to gain some “control” over the event.

    - Control what you can. There are routines in your life that you can continue and sometimes you need to do those and take a break from even thinking about the disaster.

    - Look for opportunities for self-discovery and recognize your strengths.


    People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of persevering through hardship. Many people who have experienced tragedy and adversity have reported better relationships, greater sense of personal strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, deeper spirituality, and heightened appreciation for life.

    When should I seek professional help?
    Many people are able to cope effectively with the emotional and physical demands brought about by a natural disaster by using their own support systems. It is not unusual, however, to find that serious problems persist and continue to interfere with daily living. For example, some may feel overwhelming nervousness or lingering sadness that adversely affects job performance and interpersonal relationships.

    Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers help educate people about common responses to extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals affected by trauma to help them find constructive ways of dealing with the emotional impact.

    With children, continual and aggressive emotional outbursts, serious problems at school, preoccupation with the traumatic event, continued and extreme withdrawal, and other signs of intense anxiety or emotional difficulties all point to the need for professional assistance. A qualified mental health professional such as a psychologist can help such children and their parents understand and deal with thoughts, feelings and behaviors that result from trauma.


    From the American Psychological Association
    http://www.apahelpcenter.org/article...cle.php?id=107

  2. #2

    Coping From a Distance~New Orleans Hurricane

    For those struggling to cope from afar

    Even if you were not in the actual disaster, you may experience a sense of vulnerability from witnessing the results of the disaster.

    This can be especially acute if a relative or friend was affected by the disaster, particularly if you have been unable to get news on their welfare.


    - Take a news break. Watching endless replays of footage from the disaster can make your stress even greater. Although you'll want to keep informed - especially if you have loved ones affected by the disaster - take a break from watching the news.

    - Be kind to yourself. Some feelings when witnessing a disaster may be difficult for you to accept. You may feel relief that the disaster did not touch you, or you may feel guilt that you were left untouched when so many were affected. Both feelings are common.

    - Keep things in perspective. Although a disaster often is horrifying, you should focus as well on the things that are good in your life.

    - Find a productive way to help if you can. Many organizations are set up to provide financial or other aid to victims of natural disasters. Contributing can be a way to gain some “control” over the event.

    - Control what you can. There are routines in your life that you can continue and sometimes you need to do those and take a break from even thinking about the disaster.

    - Look for opportunities for self-discovery and recognize your strengths.


    People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of persevering through hardship. Many people who have experienced tragedy and adversity have reported better relationships, greater sense of personal strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, deeper spirituality, and heightened appreciation for life.

    When should I seek professional help?
    Many people are able to cope effectively with the emotional and physical demands brought about by a natural disaster by using their own support systems. It is not unusual, however, to find that serious problems persist and continue to interfere with daily living. For example, some may feel overwhelming nervousness or lingering sadness that adversely affects job performance and interpersonal relationships.

    Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers help educate people about common responses to extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals affected by trauma to help them find constructive ways of dealing with the emotional impact.

    With children, continual and aggressive emotional outbursts, serious problems at school, preoccupation with the traumatic event, continued and extreme withdrawal, and other signs of intense anxiety or emotional difficulties all point to the need for professional assistance. A qualified mental health professional such as a psychologist can help such children and their parents understand and deal with thoughts, feelings and behaviors that result from trauma.


    From the American Psychological Association
    http://www.apahelpcenter.org/article...cle.php?id=107

  3. #3

    How Canadians Can Help New Orlean's Victims

    How Canadians Can Help New Orlean's Victims
    From the website of the Canadian Red Cross:
    The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
    http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=014615&tid=001

    The volunteers working in Community Services will provide support to the American Red Cross in managing 270 shelters and delivering some 500,000 hot meals each day. Staff Services volunteers help coordinate travel, accommodation, training and other details for the thousands of volunteers deployed to the region. Those people in Organizational Support will work in fundraising, marketing and communications.

    “We are sending our most experienced and highly trained volunteers to support the largest relief operation in the American Red Cross’ history,” said Don Shropshire, National Director, Disaster Services, Canadian Red Cross. “In the coming weeks we will send at least 100 volunteers to the region, then more as required. It is the most effective way that we can help our counterparts in the US.”

    The Canadian Red Cross does not recruit new volunteers for this type of mission, but relies on its existing pool of people who have experience responding to disasters in Canada, ranging from house fires to major forest fires or floods. If Canadians wish to volunteer for disaster response in Canada they are encouraged to contact their local Red Cross office.

    Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office.

    The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa and MasterCard. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Hurricane Katrina Relief” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

    For information on how Red Cross manages donations, please visit "How We Care For Your Donations.” Donations of goods are not accepted.

    Starting on September 6, Canadians may also make a financial donation at the following banks:

    BMO Bank of Montreal
    Canadian Western Bank
    CIBC
    HSBC Bank Canada
    National Bank of Canada
    RBC Royal Bank
    Scotiabank
    TD Canada Trust

    Watch and Donate – NBC, CNBC and MSNBC will be broadcasting a commercial-free telethon, “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” to benefit the American Red Cross tonight between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EST) from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The show, hosted by Brian Williams and Matt Lauer and including the talents of Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis, will help raise money by encouraging viewers to donate to the Red Cross.

    The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 181 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

  4. #4

    How Canadians Can Help New Orlean's Victims

    How Canadians Can Help New Orlean's Victims
    From the website of the Canadian Red Cross:
    The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
    http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=014615&tid=001

    The volunteers working in Community Services will provide support to the American Red Cross in managing 270 shelters and delivering some 500,000 hot meals each day. Staff Services volunteers help coordinate travel, accommodation, training and other details for the thousands of volunteers deployed to the region. Those people in Organizational Support will work in fundraising, marketing and communications.

    “We are sending our most experienced and highly trained volunteers to support the largest relief operation in the American Red Cross’ history,” said Don Shropshire, National Director, Disaster Services, Canadian Red Cross. “In the coming weeks we will send at least 100 volunteers to the region, then more as required. It is the most effective way that we can help our counterparts in the US.”

    The Canadian Red Cross does not recruit new volunteers for this type of mission, but relies on its existing pool of people who have experience responding to disasters in Canada, ranging from house fires to major forest fires or floods. If Canadians wish to volunteer for disaster response in Canada they are encouraged to contact their local Red Cross office.

    Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office.

    The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa and MasterCard. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Hurricane Katrina Relief” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

    For information on how Red Cross manages donations, please visit "How We Care For Your Donations.” Donations of goods are not accepted.

    Starting on September 6, Canadians may also make a financial donation at the following banks:

    BMO Bank of Montreal
    Canadian Western Bank
    CIBC
    HSBC Bank Canada
    National Bank of Canada
    RBC Royal Bank
    Scotiabank
    TD Canada Trust

    Watch and Donate – NBC, CNBC and MSNBC will be broadcasting a commercial-free telethon, “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” to benefit the American Red Cross tonight between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EST) from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The show, hosted by Brian Williams and Matt Lauer and including the talents of Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis, will help raise money by encouraging viewers to donate to the Red Cross.

    The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 181 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

  5. #5

    Tips for People Living with Mental Illness in Uncertain Time

    Tips for People Living with Mental Illness in Uncertain Times

    With ongoing military action in Iraq and the continuing terrorist threat here at home, Americans are experiencing many powerful emotions. For most people, the intense feelings of anxiety, sadness, grief and anger are healthy and appropriate. But some people may have more profound and debilitating reactions to the war. This could be especially true for those who live with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, substance abuse problems, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

    It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to trauma and each person has his or her own tolerance level for difficult feelings. When confronted with a crisis, a person with a mental illness may experience the symptoms of his or her disorder or see new ones emerge.

    Some consumers who have experienced this say that there are warning signs. Here are some common warning signs of an oncoming relapse:


    [list]Stopping your usual routines, such as attending school or joining family activities

    Changing your sleeping pattern or eating habits, not caring about your appearance, difficulties with your coordination, lapses in short-term memory

    Experiencing mood swings, feeling out of control or very agitated, thinking about suicide or violence

    Doing things that make others think you're out of touch with reality

    Hearing or seeing things that other do not

    Being unable to let go of an idea, thought or phrase

    Having trouble thinking or speaking clearly

    Deciding not to take your medications or to follow through with your treatment plan (missing appointments, etc.)

    Feeling unable to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable

    Being unable to make even routine decisions[/list:u]
    Different people can have different warning signs, so be aware of anything that seems out of the ordinary for you. If people around you notice changes, listen to what they say. You could be totally unaware of changes in your behavior. Be sure to report any changes, especially any talk or thoughts of suicide or self-inflicted injury, to your doctor or treatment team.

    Even in uncertain times such as these, you must take an active role in managing your illness. Continue to follow the treatment plan youÕve developed with your doctor or treatment team.


    [list]Take your medications just as your doctor prescribed

    Keep your therapy appointments

    Avoid alcohol use

    Do not use illicit drugs or any that are not prescribed specifically for you

    Keep a journal or diary

    Have prescribed laboratory and psychological tests

    Stay connected with or get involved in a support group

    Report any signs of a relapse to your treatment team[/list:u]

    To get through the current crisis, take advantage of the people and tools that are available to you:


    [list]Involve family and friends. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

    Keep your doctor and treatment team informed about how the war is affecting you.

    Make contact with self-help groups and support organizations that help people with serious mental illnesses and related problems.

    Access peer support and other programs, ranging from drop-in centers to housing, employment and recreational opportunities, that can help you better manage your illness.

    Learn all you can about your illness and what you have to do to move to recovery.

    Use the computer to get information about your illness, and to contact and exchange views and experiences with others who share your experiences.

    Stay in touch with your spirituality, if you find that comforting.

    Be optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead. Find what works for you.[/list:u]

    The process of moving toward recovery, especially in times of war or crisis, is not a simple one. Stay fully involved in the process by following your treatment plan and seeking the support you need, when you need it.

    Information courtesy of the National Mental Health Association
    Article from the following site:
    http://www.mhafc.org/pwmhtips.htm

    The Mental Health Association of Franklin County is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1956 to provide mental health education and consumer support services for the residents of Franklin County. We are the only agency in Franklin County whose broad mission is public mental health education. The MHAFC hosts support groups for families and friends of people with mental illness, offers community and professional educational events, publishes two quarterly newsletters on mental health issues and offers a variety of literature on mental health and mental health topics. Our ombudsman facilitates access to appropriate treatment and services, addresses treatment concerns and advocates for client rights. We receive funding from the United Way of Central Ohio and the Franklin County ADAMH Board.

  6. #6

    Tips for People Living with Mental Illness in Uncertain Time

    Tips for People Living with Mental Illness in Uncertain Times

    With ongoing military action in Iraq and the continuing terrorist threat here at home, Americans are experiencing many powerful emotions. For most people, the intense feelings of anxiety, sadness, grief and anger are healthy and appropriate. But some people may have more profound and debilitating reactions to the war. This could be especially true for those who live with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, substance abuse problems, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

    It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to trauma and each person has his or her own tolerance level for difficult feelings. When confronted with a crisis, a person with a mental illness may experience the symptoms of his or her disorder or see new ones emerge.

    Some consumers who have experienced this say that there are warning signs. Here are some common warning signs of an oncoming relapse:


    [list]Stopping your usual routines, such as attending school or joining family activities

    Changing your sleeping pattern or eating habits, not caring about your appearance, difficulties with your coordination, lapses in short-term memory

    Experiencing mood swings, feeling out of control or very agitated, thinking about suicide or violence

    Doing things that make others think you're out of touch with reality

    Hearing or seeing things that other do not

    Being unable to let go of an idea, thought or phrase

    Having trouble thinking or speaking clearly

    Deciding not to take your medications or to follow through with your treatment plan (missing appointments, etc.)

    Feeling unable to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable

    Being unable to make even routine decisions[/list:u]
    Different people can have different warning signs, so be aware of anything that seems out of the ordinary for you. If people around you notice changes, listen to what they say. You could be totally unaware of changes in your behavior. Be sure to report any changes, especially any talk or thoughts of suicide or self-inflicted injury, to your doctor or treatment team.

    Even in uncertain times such as these, you must take an active role in managing your illness. Continue to follow the treatment plan youÕve developed with your doctor or treatment team.


    [list]Take your medications just as your doctor prescribed

    Keep your therapy appointments

    Avoid alcohol use

    Do not use illicit drugs or any that are not prescribed specifically for you

    Keep a journal or diary

    Have prescribed laboratory and psychological tests

    Stay connected with or get involved in a support group

    Report any signs of a relapse to your treatment team[/list:u]

    To get through the current crisis, take advantage of the people and tools that are available to you:


    [list]Involve family and friends. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

    Keep your doctor and treatment team informed about how the war is affecting you.

    Make contact with self-help groups and support organizations that help people with serious mental illnesses and related problems.

    Access peer support and other programs, ranging from drop-in centers to housing, employment and recreational opportunities, that can help you better manage your illness.

    Learn all you can about your illness and what you have to do to move to recovery.

    Use the computer to get information about your illness, and to contact and exchange views and experiences with others who share your experiences.

    Stay in touch with your spirituality, if you find that comforting.

    Be optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead. Find what works for you.[/list:u]

    The process of moving toward recovery, especially in times of war or crisis, is not a simple one. Stay fully involved in the process by following your treatment plan and seeking the support you need, when you need it.

    Information courtesy of the National Mental Health Association
    Article from the following site:
    http://www.mhafc.org/pwmhtips.htm

    The Mental Health Association of Franklin County is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1956 to provide mental health education and consumer support services for the residents of Franklin County. We are the only agency in Franklin County whose broad mission is public mental health education. The MHAFC hosts support groups for families and friends of people with mental illness, offers community and professional educational events, publishes two quarterly newsletters on mental health issues and offers a variety of literature on mental health and mental health topics. Our ombudsman facilitates access to appropriate treatment and services, addresses treatment concerns and advocates for client rights. We receive funding from the United Way of Central Ohio and the Franklin County ADAMH Board.

  7. #7

  8. #8

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