Evidence of psychosocial distress after cyclone yasi in North Queensland: strategies to ensure community involvement and feedback

Usher, Kim, Buttner, Petra, Mills, Jane, Woods, Cindy, and West, Caryn (2013) Evidence of psychosocial distress after cyclone yasi in North Queensland: strategies to ensure community involvement and feedback. In: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (22) p. 34. From: 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference: collaboration and partnership in mental health nursing, 22-24 October 2013, Perth, WA, Australia.

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Abstract

Climate change is causing more frequent and severe adverse weather events that impact large numbers of people and leave a path of destruction leading to long-term consequences. Psychosocial distress including symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disruption, recurring intrusive thoughts of the events and mood changes may affect survivors even though they may not have experienced any form of physical harm (Simpson et al., 2011). The link between extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and hurricanes resulting from climate change, and psychosocial distress is well established (Friedman & McEwen, 2004; Reser et al., 2011; Sattler et al. 1995; Sattler et al., 2002; Salcioglu et al., 2007; Simpson et al., 2011). Tropical cyclone (TC) Yasi struck North Queensland on Thursday February 3, 2011 between midnight and 1am and made landfall on the southern tropical coast near Mission Beach. The cyclone wreaked havoc across the region; never before has a cyclone of that intensity crossed the coast of North Queensland. A survey of community members, undertaken with assistance from local community organisations, collected data using an electronic and paper based questionnaire. The results indicate those with signs of psychosocial distress were more likely to be older (60.6%) and reside in the area worst affected by the cyclone, were more likely to have been without essential services for an extended period of time, more likely to have inadequate levels of insurance, and more likely to have had experienced moderate or major loss of sentimental possessions, money for living expenses and personal transportation. Community support is one of the major factors in community resilience. Therefore, working with the community to help members better understand the level of current distress is important for the development of response interventions. Feedback to the community thus formed a pivotal component of the study.

Item ID: 31184
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1447-0349
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Conference abstracts published in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Volume 22, Issue Supplement S1, pages 1–38, October 2013.

Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2014 00:18
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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