Coping with Tragic Events
Ventura County Recovers – Official recovery information for Ventura County fires: venturacountyrecovers.org
Thomas Fire Help – Community-based list of resources: www.thomasfirehelp.com
After the Fire: Your Emotional and Physical Well-Being – This tip sheet provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains common reactions to stress and includes steps people can take to cope and stay healthy after a wildfire.
2-1-1: For information about resources dial 211 or call 1-800-339-9597 or visit www.211ventura.org. Text “ThomasFire” to 898-211 for up-to-date fire information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Wildfires – The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website provides information on a host of hazards, including wildfires.
In Emotional Distress? Call the Crisis Helpline
After a wildfire, other disaster or tragic events, people can feel stress, grief, guilt or anger. It's important to remember that there are ways to cope. You do not need to deal with difficult times alone.
If you would like to speak with a professional, Ventura County Behavioral Health encourages residents to call the crisis team. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available in English, Spanish, and other languages.
Ventura County Crisis Team
If you believe your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis and you need the assistance of law enforcement, call 911.
Ways to Cope – Mental Wellness
After a disaster, coping with stress and trauma is important from Day 1. Don't ignore your mental health. We each have different needs and different ways to cope. There are several things you can do to help care for yourself or a loved one.
• Avoid overexposing yourself and loved ones to the incident via the news or social media
• Work on meditation, breathing, and muscle relaxation techniques
• Eat healthy foods
• Get enough sleep
• Participate in activities you don't find stressful, such as sports, hobbies or social events
• Participate in meaningful cultural activities, including spiritual communities
• Talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional
• Stay alert – don't overdo alcohol or use other drugs as a way to cope with stress. Learn more about the risks at www.venturacountylimits.org
Sharing reactions, thoughts, and emotions can be helpful for some people, but others may not want to share. Be sensitive to one another and speak in private, as not everyone will want to hear these conversations. It’s important to focus on personal experiences and established facts, not rumors.
Caring for Children During a Disaster – CDC website:
Helping Children Cope with Disaster – Booklet with suggestions for parents from the Red Cross:
Sesame Street has videos and other resources for parents and children coping with traumatic experiences.
"Help Kids Cope" App – This free mobile app provides information to help parents and other caregivers, teachers, counselors, and other prepare for and talk about disasters with kids. The app features tips and checklists to help with disaster preparation; information about how children typically respond to disasters; and links to kids’ books, activities, and other resources. Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and other organizations, the app runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
National Disaster Distress Helpline:
For anyone experiencing emotional distress related to disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, or incident of mass violence.
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress
This SAMHSA tip sheet gives stress prevention and management tips for dealing with the effects of trauma, mass violence, or terrorism. It lists tips to relieve stress, describes how to know when to seek professional help, and provides accompanying resources.
Be Red Cross Ready: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health after a Disaster
This fact sheet from the American Red Cross explains normal reactions to a disaster, what a survivor can do to cope with these emotions, and where to seek additional help if needed. www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240142_EmotionalHealth.pdf
Tips for College Students After a Disaster or other Trauma