On Inside South Florida we are here for our community and our hearts go out to the families and victims of the Surfside building collapse. We are joined by experts who are to help the community dealing with the devastation. From what you can to help those affected - from donations to emotional support for survivors and victim’s families.
Dr. Judith Joseph joins us to talk about the impact of this trauma on the community, and some advice for protecting your own mental health during this time. People experience trauma very differently, but for many of them, there are long-lasting effects that can lead to PTSD.
One thing that seems to be uniform across the board is, after experiencing trauma your sleep can be disrupted. This leads to feelings of being tired, but if you have anxiety following an event you can also feel very on edge at the same time.
"Validate these feelings," she says. "If you're experiencing these things, it may be helpful to just say it out loud or write it down. If you don't validate it, then you can't do anything about it."
Typically, people who are experiencing PTSD will re-experience these events. This may happen in the form of nightmares or flashbacks, where they feel they're back in the moment. People also might be hypervigilant, or on the other side, they may not be able to focus or concentrate.
The grieving process is equally as important. Trying to avoid an overload of information, says Dr. Joseph. Providing resources for everything from housing to mental health will help ease people into the grieving stage since it's one less thing they have to worry about.
Children are not safe from these feelings. Dr. Joseph says asking your child what they already know about a disaster can help you identify any questions they may have. After that, making sure they feel safe is the most important thing to do.
Stay tuned for more information regarding Surfside.