Disasters which are always unexpected may lead to significant loss of life that leaves an emotional toll to those who have lost their loved ones. First the responders in addressing the psychological challenges of dealing with significant loss of life, it is important they know what happens to various people psychologically after the traumatic experience so that they can understand themselves at a personal level. It is important for the responders to realize that there doesn’t exist one standard pattern occurring in all individuals reacting to the stress from the traumatic experiences. The time of recovery depends on individual persons and is affected by a number of factors. After responder has had all this at the back of the mind, he or she should then embark on the steps of helping himself and the other victims.
The first step always requires the responder to bear in mind that what lies ahead is a challenging time that can be managed by working positively. The responder can tap into the general skills of tackling hardship in his own previous past. If the responder is mourning and needs to help the family or the others he or she should first allow himself or herself to mourn. The responders should in this case be patient with the changes in their emotional state. The next step is to ask support from people who have before shown care towards the responder and the other victims. These people are necessary to listen and also empathize with the situation. It is always a form of relieve for someone undergoing any traumatic experience to know they have people to share their problems with. However the responder her should always bear in mind that the typical support may weaken if those who are would provide support and care are also experienced the trauma and are also mourning the loss.
The next thing that a responder must do is to communicate the experience by talking with the family and close friends or even recording in a diary in whatever ways that make the responder comfortable. The next step that the responder needs to undertake is to find out local support groups that exist such as if there are for women who have lost their husbands. This is helpful especially for those people that have personal support not available or very limited. After this the responder can try to find out if there exist any groups that are led by trained and experienced professionals. Discussion groups with other people can help them to realize that they not the only ones in the world who had to encounter the significant loss of lives and that there are other individuals in the same circumstances.
The responder should always ensure that they engage in healthy behaviors which are necessary to enhance their ability to cope with the excessive stress that may be weighing them down. For example the can eat a well balanced diet and ensure that they get plenty of sleep. They should avoid alcohol and drug in trying to cope with difficulties with sleep but rather take on relaxation techniques. The responder should also establish habits such as eating the meals at the regular times and also following the exercise program.
It is also good for the responder to take off from the demands in the daily life and undertake hobbies and other activities that they enjoy being undertaking. At this point of life the responder must also avoid being involved in major life decisions for example switching jobs or careers that may weigh on him or her and add the weight of the stress. If the victim is in the class of those who don’t cope effectively emotional and have prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning, he or she should then consult a trained and experienced health professional. Psychologists and the other mental health providers can help by educating the people about normal responses after extreme stress. When the victims are children who have continuous and aggressive responses of emotional outburst which leads them to become a serious problem in school they should seek a health professional who can help the parents and such children understand and deal with the thoughts feeling and behaviors of emotional stress.
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Robson, D. (2008)Disaster Response. New York. Referencepoint Press